Nonna Mary and AnnaMarie Deleo Cotechino and Lentils

Enjoying Cotechino and Lentils on New Year’s Eve is a new tradition in the Deleo family. “I only started making this dish around five years ago,” says AnnaMarie. “My Zio Pino in the States would make it every year, and I tried it, and everyone loved it.” Nonna Mary says she hadn’t heard of cotechino while growing up, either. It wasn’t until she was working in her grocery store, seeing all the customers buying it, that she learned about this New Year’s tradition.

Cotechino is a style of sausage that originated in Modena, Italy. It’s known for its coarse texture and distinctive spice blend, featuring ingredients like cloves and nutmeg. According to tradition, eating cotechino and lentils on New Year’s Eve brings good luck.


  • 500g cotechino
  • 400g lentils
  • 1/2 cup chopped carrots
  • 1/2 cup chopped celery
  • 1/2 cup chopped potatoes
  • 1/2 cup chopped onions
  • 1/4 cup parmesan cheese
  • 10 cherry tomatoes
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1/4 cup parsley
  • 1 tbsp pesto
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • Approx. 1/2 cup olive oil
  • Salt to season


Grate the parmesan cheese, mince the garlic, and chop the onion, potatoes, carrots, celery and parsley. You should have several bowls of ingredients, ready to use, before beginning to cook this dish.


  1. Sauté the onion and garlic in olive oil.
  2. Add the potatoes, followed by carrots and celery. Let them simmer for 20-30 minutes until the vegetables are tender.
  3. In a separate pot, boil water and add the closed pack of cotechino. Let simmer for 30 minutes.
  4. In another pot, boil water and cook the lentils for 10-15 minutes. Stir the pesto into the pot with the simmering vegetables.
  5. Using a ladle, add the cooked lentils (and some of the water) to the pot with the simmering vegetables.
  6. Add the cotechino to the pan, along with chili powder, cherry tomatoes, parmesan cheese, and parsley. Let it all simmer for an additional 10 minutes. Season with salt to taste.
  7. Plate the meal and garnish with additional parmesan cheese and parsley if desired.

That’s it! Nonna Mary suggests either serving this hearty dish on its own, or with fish and a tomato salad. If you’re interested in trying this recipe yourself, you can purchase Villani Cotechino and Terre di Altamura Lentils from our online shop.

Buon appetito!

—Tre Mari Bakery

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