Italian Sausage

We’re back from California after a whirlwind visit. The occasion was my nephew’s wedding.

I hafta tell ya – my family does great weddings! Loud and boisterous while still reasonably civilized. We had a blast. The wedding was in Capay, California – about an hour and a half northeast of San Francisco. The venue and the weather were picture perfect and it was great spending time with the family. Even more fun was walking into a restaurant the following morning with 35 people for breakfast. Needless to say, we tipped well!

But all good things do come to an end, and we’re back…

First thing we did was hit the garden – five days of not picking tomatoes meant we had a lot to deal with.


Victor made more sun-dried and I made more paste. And then we made Italian Sausage.

Italian Sausage

A nice, spicy Italian Sausage!

3 pounds of pork gave us 12 4oz sausages. 10 went into the freezer and two were saved for dinner. Perfect.

As per usual, the recipe is a bit vague.

  • pork butt, ground
  • salt
  • pepper
  • fennel seed
  • fennel pollen
  • garlic powder
  • onion powder
  • brown sugar
  • aleppo pepper
  • cayenne pepper
  • crushed red pepper
  • oregano
  • thyme
  • red wine
  • paprika

Grind pork, mix in spices, regrind, stuff into casings… It really is up to you to add how much of something you like. Ya want spicy – add a lot of the hot spices. You want it sweet – leave them out. You could get by with just fennel, salt, and pepper…

And then we got to eat it!

First, I caramelized a couple of onions. Then I grilled the sausages. I cooked the orecchiette, drained it, and added some tomato paste – the awesome homemade stuff – and 2 chopped tomatoes from the garden. Then went a pinch of S&P and a bit of oregano.

It went onto the plate, a sausage on top of it, and the onions on top of it all. Some freshly grated pecorino romano topped it off.

Italian Sausage

It was a great combination of flavors.