Cotechino and lentils with salsa verde

Cotechino and lentils with salsa verde

Ben's Meat Bible
Benito Martin

I think I fell in love with cotechino in the early nineties, when I was working at a restaurant called Goodfellas in Newtown. These rich and coarse-textured pork sausages, not dissimilar to salami, require long, slow cooking and are perfect on a cold winter’s night. The salsa verde is the perfect condiment, as its freshness cuts through the richness of the sausage.


Quantity Ingredient
2 x 300g cotechino sausages
1 carrot, finely chopped
2 celery stalks, 1 finely chopped and the other halved
1 onion, finely chopped
2 bay leaves
370g puy lentils or dried green lentils
1/4 bunch sage
1/2 garlic bulb, cut horizontally through the centre
2-3 tablespoons red-wine vinegar
60ml extra-virgin olive oil

Salsa verde

Quantity Ingredient
30g flat-leaf or curly parsley
60g basil leaves
50g mint leaves
2 tablespoons capers, rinsed and drained
4 anchovy fillets
1 garlic clove, peeled
1 tablespoon red-wine vinegar
2 teaspoons dijon mustard
185ml extra-virgin olive oil
freshly ground black pepper


  1. First, make the salsa verde. Place the herbs in a food processor with the capers, anchovies and garlic, and process until finely chopped. If necessary, gradually add the vinegar to loosen the mixture (you may not need all of it). Stir in the mustard and oil and blitz again to combine well. Season with salt and pepper.
  2. Allow the salsa to stand for 30 minutes before using. You will have made more than you need for this recipe; store the rest in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.
  3. Next, cook the cotechino sausages. Place the sausages, carrot, chopped celery, onion and bay leaves in a large pan and cover with cold water. Slowly bring to the boil, turn down to a very gentle simmer, cover with a lid slightly ajar, and cook for 2 hours. Once cooked, turn off the heat and allow to stand for about 15 minutes.
  4. About 30 minutes before the sausages are done, cook the lentils. Use kitchen string to tie the sage between the halved celery stalks. Place the lentils, celery, sage and garlic in a saucepan and cover with cold water. Bring to the boil, reduce the heat and simmer gently for about 15 minutes, until the lentils are tender. The exact timing will vary depending on how fresh the lentils are, so keep an eye on them. Drain off almost all of the liquid, reserving about 125 ml to keep the lentils nice and moist. Remove and discard the celery, sage and garlic. Season with the vinegar, oil and salt and pepper, and keep warm.
  5. To serve, divide the lentils between plates. Drain the sausages and slice them, removing the thick outer skin. Arrange the sliced sausages on top of the lentils, and finish with a dollop of salsa verde.
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