Chef Dunn's cotechino is here

Chef Franco Dunn of One World Sausage, which is sold at local farmers markets, calls himself a sausage anthropologist. He uses the web to reach out to sausage makers around the world to uncover authentic traditional recipes, which he then duplicates in his kitchen.

This means, in part, that you won't find the same sausages week after week. If you are dazzled by, say, his Andalusian Chorizo, there's no telling when it may be available again. This makes it an adventure for both Dunn and his loyal customers, though sometimes you have to wait a while for a favorite sausage to return.

Such was the case last winter with Dunn's extraordinary cotechino.

Cotechino is a long, fat, pork sausage that is traditionally poached and served with lentils or in bollito misto with salsa verde. It has just the bone-warming richness we want in the coldest, darkest days of winter.

And now we have it. Dunn will make it week after week through February. A single cotechino is $12 and easily serves four. It is available at the Santa Rosa Original Certified Farmers Market in Santa Rosa on Wednesday and Saturday and at the Sebastopol Farmers Market on Sunday.

For cotechino recipes from the Seasonal Pantry archives, visit this column's companion blog, "Eat This Now" at pantry.pressdemocrat.com, where I will also post instructions on making perfect poached eggs and how to poach a cotechino neat.

Faced with a single cotechino and five dinner guests, I decided to make a lentil risotto, which would honor the tradition of cotechino and lentils but rise above its humble warmth. I served Lacinato kale braised with bacon and Algerian carrots alongside. Dinner was a big hit.

Cotechino with Lentil Risotto and Salsa Verde

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