The Italian Christmas cuisine tradition requires that while fishfood should be consumed on Christmas Eve, the new year should be celebrated with Lentils and Cotechino, in order to wish prosperities to all the participants to the "cenone".
Lenticchie and cotechino
The cotechino or zampone is usually nowadays bought ready made, but you can have your butcher prepare it (both preparations are typical from Romagna, the region of prosciutto dolce, parmesan and tortellini). The cotechino is made with the least expensive parts of pork meat - most Italians prefer the "zampone" which is a pork leg filled with lean pork meat. In case neither can be found, pork sausages will serve as well. The cotechino, zampone or sausages are boiled separately in water, piercing here and there with a fork to let the fat out. The sausages, after a few minutes in hot water, should be taken out, let cool and deprived of their peel. The cotechino or zampone too are to be unpeeled after cooking and cut into slices. The slices, or the peeled sausages, are then put into the tomato sauce with the lentils, to finish cooking - The final touch is some laurel leaves in the pot. If necessary add some salt. The preparation should not be to watery, but if the sauce is too thick some broth can be added.
Accompany with a good Marsala or red sweet wine.
Rice and Chestnut Soup
Accompany with a good red sweet wine.
Tools: a matterello (wooden cylindrical tool), a spianatora (a wooden or marble table), a chitarra (a wooden rectangular box with steel wires tightly drawn through the long side).