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Sweet Italian Sausages

By Tonia Reinhard, Brendan Reinhard & Brent Mitchell

Sweet Italian Sausages


Courtesy of The Complete Art & Science of Sausage Making by Tonia Reinhard, Brendan Reinhard & Brent Mitchell


Sweet Italian Sausages

In North America, the two most familiar Italian sausages are sweet Italian and hot Italian sausages. They are both fresh sausages (salsiccia fresca in Italian), and they contain similar ingredients, with one notable exception: hot Italian sausages contain copious amounts of hot pepper flakes.

2 lbs        trimmed boneless pork shoulder blade roast, chilled               1 kg

1 tbsp       freshly cracked fennel seeds                   15 mL 
   (see Tip)

2 tsp        kosher salt                                              10 mL

1 tsp         freshly cracked black pepper                  5 mL

1 tsp         sweet paprika                                          5 mL

1 tsp         garlic powder                                          5 mL

14 cup     red wine or water                                 60 mL

4 to 5 feet 32/35 mm hog casing, soaked       120 to 
150 cm

1.   Cut pork into pieces small enough to fit in the throat of your grinder. Using the coarse grinder plate, grind pork into a large bowl or stand mixer bowl.

2.   Add fennel seeds, salt, pepper, paprika and garlic powder to the ground pork. Using your hands or the stand mixer paddle attachment, mix until seasonings are evenly distributed. Add wine and mix until white strands appear in the mixture and a handful of the mixture holds together.

3.   In a small skillet, over medium-high heat, sauté a small amount of the sausage mixture until no longer pink. Taste the sample, then adjust seasonings as desired.

4.   Stuff sausage mixture into prepared casing as directed on page 51. Twist into 6 links, each about 6 inches (15 cm) in length.

Health Facts

One of numerous phytonutrients found in fennel seeds is rutin, a compound with powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Oxidative damage and inflammation are both linked to many chronic diseases.


6 sausages


If you enjoy the flavor of the spice mixture in this recipe, make up a larger batch using 6 tbsp (90 mL) hot pepper flakes and 1 tbsp (15 mL) each freshly cracked black pepper, cayenne pepper, fennel seeds, garlic powder and sweet paprika. It will make a meatless pasta sauce, such as marinara or pomodoro, taste like it has sausage in it.