Cotechino is a kind of cooked salami, available from most good Italian delis and traditionally served with braised lentils or beans. Those little, quick-cooking, mixed pulses are a great larder stand-by for soups and this kind of dish.
Mustard fruits (aka mostarda) are available in Italian delis and good supermarkets and really give the dish a good kick, cutting through the fattiness of the sausage.
A couple of good knobs of butter
2 shallots, peeled, halved and finely chopped
2 cloves of garlic, peeled and crushed
1 medium carrot, peeled and cut into ½cm dice
1 stick of celery, peeled if stringy and cut into ½cm dice
80g small Italian soup pulses, soaked for 2 hours
300-400ml beef stock
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
A few pieces of mixed mustard fruits, sliced or cut into small chunks
First, make the sauce: heat the butter in a heavy-based saucepan and gently cook the shallots and garlic for a minute.
Add the carrots, celery and drained pulses and 300ml of the stock; season, bring to the boil and simmer gently for about 30 minutes or until the pulses are tender and the stock has reduced and just coating the pulses. You may need to add some more stock during cooking. Cover and keep warm.
To serve, heat the cotechino in water or stock for 10-15 minutes, remove and cut into 2cm-thick slices or thinner if you wish.
Spoon the pulses on to warmed serving plates or bowls, place the cotechino on top and scatter the mustard fruits on top.