Italian Sausage Recipe

cooked Italian sausage

Homemade Italian sausage has been a tradition in our family for years. When my aunts stopped making it my sister and I kept the tradition going with some tweaks here and there to my grandfather’s recipe.

My grandfather’s recipe used hamburger and prepackaged pork sausages. My husband and I wanted a more authentic taste and texture. Through a lot of testing, we came up with the recipe we are sharing with you today.

We hope you give our Italian sausage recipe a try and enjoy it as much as we do.

Homemade Italian Sausage Recipe

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Start by cutting the pork butt up into pieces, leaving all the fat attached. Remove any sinew and throw away. We like to cut them in strips, it just makes it easier to run through the meat grinder.

Place the pork and sausage making equipment in the freezer. You want the meat to be firm but not frozen solid. This is important because the fat needs to stay hard during processing. If it softens/melts you’ll struggle to create an emulsion with the meat and fat.

Prepared spices for the Italian Sausage

Prepare the whole fennel, crushed red pepper, dry rubbed sage, ground black pepper, seasoning salt, ground fennel, chopped parsley, kosher salt, garlic, and red wine. Set aside.

You can adjust the heat in the recipe by just cutting down on the amount of crushed red pepper. In our opinion, this Italian sausage recipe has just the right amount of heat. But we understand everyone has their own preferred taste and opinion.

Prepare the casings. We use Pre-Tubed Natural Hog Sausage Casings, 35-38mm which can be found on Amazon.

Casings come packed in salt so you’ll need to rinse them first.

Run some water over and through the casings to remove any residual salt, then place them in a bowl of water while you get everything else set up.

Drape one end of the casing over the side of the bowl or you might have trouble trying to find each opening.

Italian Sausage

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Remove the meat grinder equipment from the freezer and assemble.

Pour yourself a glass of that wine you’re using in the recipe. This is a required step in the process.

Grind the partially frozen pork using the small holed plate. You can also you the large hole but we found we preferred the texture of a smaller grind. It’s your choice.

We grind it onto a large sheet pan and spread it out evenly. This makes mixing in the spices much easier.

Sprinkle each spice evenly over the ground pork. Mix thoroughly with your hands until combined.

Take a sample of the meat and cook it in a small skillet until browned. Taste test to make sure the flavor is right. Add seasonings if desired.

Place the remaining sausage in the freezer of the refrigerator to stay cold while you load the pre-tubed casings on to your sausage stuffing tube.

Once you are happy with the taste of the sausage load the hopper with some meat and pump some through to remove any air.

Attach a casing to the end of the nozzle and tie off the end. Remove the meat from the fridge.

Now start pumping meat into the casing, being careful to not let any air get into the casing. There is a balancing act between having too much air and not enough air.

Too much air and you will end up with a poorly formed sausage. Too little air and the casing will burst.

Now stuff your sausage. Two people make this part of the process much easier. One to load the meat while the other holds and guides the casing.

Form the link to your desired length. Stop filling the casing with about 3” to spare at the end. Tie off the end. Repeat this step until all the meat has been stuffed into casings.

We usually make them into 1 to 1 1/2lb length. You can also make the sausage links into smaller single-serving sizes if desired.

We freeze most of it and save out enough for dinner or snacks, whatever. As the sausage sits the flavors combine and become much better. So the Italian sausage made and cooked the same day will not be as strong in flavor.

Homemade Italian Sausage

To cook it place a skillet large enough to hold the size you made over medium-high heat. Add 1 tablespoon of olive oil.

Cook covered for about 15 minutes. Remove the lid and cook uncovered for 5-10 minutes more or until 165 degrees F.

Check out one of our most popular recipes using Italian sausage. Italian Sausage Rigatoni with Spicy Tomato Cream Sauce!

Making homemade Italian sausage is easier than you think! Way better than anything store-bought and you control the ingredients. No fillers!

Our Italian sausage recipe is perfect for cooking with peppers and onions!

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Italian Sausage Recipe

Making homemade Italian sausage is easier than you think! Way better than anything store-bought and you control the ingredients. No fillers!
Prep Time2 hrs
Course: Dinner, Grilling, Main Course
Cuisine: Italian
Keyword: italian, Italian sausage, recipe
Servings: 32
Calories: 163kcal

Equipment

  • Meat grinder
  • Sausage stuffer

Ingredients

  • 8 lbs Pork butt
  • 6 Tbsp Whole fennel seeds
  • 2 Tbsp Crushed red pepper (or less )
  • 2 tsp Dry rubbed sage
  • 1 Tbsp Fresh ground pepper
  • 1 Tbsp Seasoning salt
  • 4 Tbsp Fresh ground fennel
  • 3/4 cup Fresh parsley, finely chopped
  • 1 Tbsp Kosher salt + 1 teaspooon
  • 6 cloves Garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup Dry red wine
  • Sausage casings

Instructions

  • Cut the pork butt up into strips, leaving all the fat attached. Remove any sinew and throw away. Place the pork and sausage making equipment in the freezer. You want the meat to be firm but not frozen solid.
  • Prepare the whole fennel, crushed red pepper, dry rubbed sage, ground black pepper, seasoning salt, ground fennel, chopped parsley, kosher salt, garlic, and red wine. Set aside.
  • Prepare the casings. Run some water over and through the casings to remove any residual salt, then place them in a bowl of water while you get everything else set up. 
  • Remove the meat grinder equipment from the freezer and assemble.
  • Grind the partially frozen pork using the small holed plate onto a large sheet pan.
  • Sprinkle each spice evenly over the ground pork. Mix thoroughly with your hands until combined. Take a sample of the meat and cook it in a small skillet until browned. Taste test to make sure the flavor is right. Add seasonings if desired.
    (Place the remaining sausage in the freezer of the refrigerator to stay cold while you load the pre-tubed casings on to your sausage stuffing tube.)
  • Once you are happy with the taste of the sausage load the hopper with some meat and pump some through to remove any air. Attach a casing to the end of the nozzle and tie off the end.
  • Now start pumping meat into the casing, being careful to not let any air get into the casing.
  • Form the link to your desired length. Stop filling the casing with about 3” to spare at the end. Tie off the end. Repeat this step until all the meat has been stuffed into casings. At this point wrap and freeze in portions you desire.

To Cook The Italian Sausage

  • Place a skillet large enough to hold the size you made over medium-high heat. Add 1 tablespoon of olive oil.
  • Cook covered for about 15 minutes. Remove the lid and cook uncovered for 5-10 minutes more or until 165 degrees F.

Notes

Nutrition is calculated on 1/4lb serving size.

Nutrition

Serving: 0.25lb | Calories: 163kcal | Carbohydrates: 2g | Protein: 22g | Fat: 7g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 68mg | Sodium: 521mg | Potassium: 438mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 267IU | Vitamin C: 2mg | Calcium: 44mg | Iron: 2mg

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