Thursday, April 23, 2009

Homemade Sweet Italian Sausage

I have been getting spoiled by my husband lately. Maybe it's because I'm carrying his child; perhaps because I'm very emotional right now; or it could be that he's just an addict and he loves to buy stuff from there. Anyway, he got me the food grinder attachment to my awesome Kitchenaid stand mixer and, of course, I just had to use it immediately. I decided to go the easy route and make homemade sausage, this time sober! The recipe below is a tweak between Alton Brown's recipe and a recipe by John D. Lee on You can omit the paprika, but I like it because it gives the sausage a slight reddish hue.


  • 2 pounds lean pork butt (2-1/2 pounds with bone), diced into 1/4-inch pieces
  • 1-1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1-1/2 tsp. fennel seed (up to 1 Tbsp. depending on how much fennel seed you like in your sausage. I used 1 tablespoon.)
  • 1 tsp. sweet paprika
  • 2 cloves finely minced fresh garlic
  • 1/2 tsp. sugar
  • 1-1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1 Tbsp. chopped parsley leaves

Using your food grinder, grind the pork. Set aside.

Toast fennel seed in medium sized, heavy saute pan over medium heat, constantly moving seeds around in pan until they start to turn light brown, about 5 minutes. Set aside to cool. Once cool, grind seeds and combine with salt, pepper, paprika, sugar, garlic and chopped parsley in medium mixing bowl. Add pork and blend thoroughly. Refrigerate for 1 hour.

Use this Italian sausage in your favorite spaghetti sauce, or instead of ground beef in lasagna. I used this sausage for broccoli rabe and sausage. Truly delish! I'll post recipe soon.

This can be stuffed inside sausage casings and grilled as well. Sausage casings can be found at most Italian grocery stores. Get a little funnel and shove the meat into the tubes; but don't push too hard, as it can be frustrating to rupture the casings as you get close to a finished sausage. When your sausage is the length that you want, twist off the ends and tie them in knots. Store in refrigerator for use within 2 to 3 days or freeze for up to 3 months.

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