Rudy's Italian Sausage

Italian sausage, or salsicce, is generally made with finely chopped pork meat, some pork fat, seasoned with salt, pepper, and fennel, and is made in varying degrees of spiciness. My father's Italian sausage is the reason I am not a vegetarian. His is of the hot variety and in my opinion, the perfect combination of pork and spice. The recipe below is as close as I can get to his sausage recipe.



  • 16 pounds Boston butt
  • 6 tablespoons salt
  • 4 tablespoons fennel seeds
  • 3 tablespoons coarse black pepper
  • 6 tablespoons crushed red pepper 
  • 6 tablespoons paprika
  • Salted pork casings for stuffing



Step 1: Debone and cut boston butt and grind coarsely. 

Step 2: Add salt, fennel seed, coarse black pepper, crushed red pepper and paprika to the ground pork. 
Different Options:
  • Increase the amount of crushed red pepper seeds to your taste
  • You may add 1 tablespoon ground cayenne pepper to make the sausage hotter.
  • You may add one cup of good quality wine.
  • You may omit the paprika if you do not want the sausage red.

Step 3: Mix thoroughly.  After sausage has been mixed, fry one or two patties to determine if more salt, fennel seed, crushed red pepper, or other seasoning is needed.
Step 4: Refrigerate sausage meat for 24 hours to let the seasonings meld with the meat. 
Step 5: Stuff in hog casings or make into patties.
Step 5: To cook: place water in bottom of skillet. Put sausage links in water and cook until water evaporates.  After water evaporates, add oil to skillet to brown links. Alternatively, you could place links in simple red sauce and cook thoroughly for at least 1 hour.
Below is a picture of my father and the rest of the "good fellas."  My Dad is the one in the middle. My Dad's brother is on the far right.


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