I love cicerchie. An ancient form of chickpea, they look like a cross between corn and human teeth (yes, it’s weird). Cotechino is traditionally served with lentils, but in this dish it pairs wonderfully with the cicerchie (basically an Italian sausage). For a vegetarian take on this dish, omit the cotechino and top the cicerchie with a fried egg. Be sure to buy a huge loaf of crusty bread to serve on the side. Serve with a crisp tricolore salad and, preferably, an Umbrian wine.
Cicerchie Beans with Cotechino Italian Sausage
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 3 hours
Total Time 3 hours, 30 minutes
Serves 4-6 people
- 1 cup diced carrots
- 1 cup diced celery
- 1 cup diced onion
- 5 large sage leaves
- 1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1 Tbsp butter
- 3 large garlic cloves, cut in half
- 2-3 birdseye chilis, crushed
- 1 lb. piece cotechino (ask your local butcher)
- 1 lb. bag cicerchie, soaked in cool water overnight and drained
- salt to taste
- bread for serving
- Melt the butter and olive oil in a large dutch oven over medium heat.
- Add the diced vegetables and crushed bird’s eye chillies and cook until soft.
- Add the whole cotechino, cicerchie and sage. Stir to coat and allow cicerchie to toast slightly, about 4 minutes.
- Add the water to cover, about 4 cups.
- You want the cicerchie to be covered by 1/2 inch of water for the entire cooking period.
- Check in with during the cooking process and add more water if necessary.
- Cook cicerchie at barely a simmer for about 3 hours, until cicerchie is soft.
- Check the dish for salt.
- Add salt to taste.
- To serve, remove the whole piece of cotechino and cut into 1/2 inch slices.
- Spoon the cicerchie into warm serving bowls, top with cotechino slices and drizzle with a spicy extra virgin olive oil.