Adapted from Mario Batali Holiday Food. Sausage and lentils are a traditional New Year's dish in Italy. The sausage rounds are thought to resemble coins and symbolize good fortune in the coming year. Cotecchino is a sausage from the Emilia-Romagna region. Batali describes it as "highly seasoned, with a lot of action, a lot of flavor, and you don't eat a lot of it. It's rich and heavy and unctuous. It's a good example of Emilian cuisine, and the perfect foil for the balsamic vinegar." It is available at specialty markets and in Italian groceries.
Wine recommendation: A young Morellino di Scansano, such as Poggio Valente 1998