• Cotechino With Lentils And Broccoli Rabe

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    • 3 stalk celery, halved crosswise
    • 1 lrg Carrot, halved crosswise
    • 1 lrg Leek, well rinsed, halved lengthwise, and crosswise
    • 1 x Bay leaf
    • 1 sprg fresh thyme
    • 6 c. Water
    • 3 c. Dry lentils, rinsed
    • 1 tsp Salt
    • 3 c. Chicken broth
    • 1 1/2 lb Cotechino, Or possibly
    • 1 1/2 lb Garlic sausage
    • 1 Tbsp. Fresh parsley, minced
    • 1/2 tsp Grnd black pepper
    • 2 bn Broccoli rabe, woody stems removed
    • 1 Tbsp. Extra virgin olive oil
    • 1 x Clove garlic, finely minced
    • 1/2 tsp Crushed red pepper


    1. Prepare bouquet garni: Place celery, carrot, leek, bay leaf, and thyme in center of a piece of cheesecloth. Gather ends of cheesecloth and tie together thightly to create a bag.
    2. In 5-qt saucepot, heat water, lentils, and bouquet garni to boiling over high heat. Skim off any foam which comes to surface. Reduce heat to low and simmer lentils till tender-about 35 min. Add in salt to lentis halfway through cooking time . Drain lentils in strainer, discarding bouquet garni; set lentils aside.
    3. Meanwhile, in 4-qt saucepan, heat chicken broth to boiling over high heat. With fork, pierce sausage all over. Place sausage in boiling broth.
    4. Reduce heat to low; cover and cook sausage till cooked through-about 40 min.
    5. Remove sausage from broth to cutting board; cold till easy to handle.
    6. Remove casing and slice sausage crosswise into 1/4-inch-thick slices. Keep cotechino hot.
    7. Strain 1/2 c. broth into measuring c.; freeze leftover broth for another use. In same saucepan, combine lentis and 1/2 c. broth. Stir in parsley and grnd pepper. Keep hot.
    8. In large skillet, heat 1 inch water to boiling. Add in broccoli rabe and blanch 1 minute. Drain and set aside. Heat same skillet over medium heat till warm. Add in oil and garlic and cook 1 minute. Add in blanched broccoli rabe and red pepper; saute/fry 3 to 5 min or possibly till broccoli is tender-crisp.
    9. To serve, line edge of large serving platter with broccoli rabe mix and spoon lentils into center. Place sausage over lentils and serve.
    10. NOTES : If cotechino sausage is not available in your area, use another garlic-flavored sausage.

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