Every year we holiday in Italy, back to the village where my husbands family originate. On the drive up to this picturesque village, nestled in the mountains of Emilia Romagna, the thought of Italy’s produce make my mouth water.
First stop is the supermarket (Yes, before we have even got there and unpacked). On entering, you are met with a riot of colour from fresh fruit and vegetable, so fresh, so large, soooooo tasty! Next, and the section which I adore the most, fresh meats! Meat in Italy tastes different, very different. Flavours are fuller and deeper than anything I can buy in the UK. I dare say that there are some artisan butchers who sell locally produced meats that would rival my Italian produce, but I would have to order it online and pay about 3 times the price!
Anyway, I digress! The reason for my reminiscing is SALSICHA, Italian sausage, our favourite thing to eat while in Italy. I cook them simply with egg and rosmary & garlic roasted potatoes or go the full whack and cook them into a rich tomato sauce and serve with polenta.
I miss them so much, I decided to go on a quest and make my own! After lots of research and numerous YouTube videos (in Italian, that was interesting as I speak very little) I discovered 3 basic versions. I left my home immediately to buy my ingredients. This is what I tried.
- 1/3rd Pork shoulder
- 2/3rd Pork belly
- 1 tablespoon Salt (per 4lbs of meat)
- 1 teaspoon black pepper (per 4lbs of meat)
You can either stick with the basic recipe above or add one of the following:
1 With Wine & Garlic
- 60ml or 1/4 cup dry red wine (per 4lbs of meat)
- 3 cloves of crushed garlic (put in wine to macerate at least 1 hour before you use it)
- 3 tablespoons of ground fennel seeds
- Either ask your butcher to mince the meat for you or mince it yourself if you have the equipment. You could also chop it finely by hand, which is traditional (I don’t have the patience!)
- Flatten the minced meat out on a table or large shallow dish until it’s about 1 inch thick.
- Evenly scatter the salt and pepper over the meat and massage in.
- Wine & Garlic version – remove garlic from the wine and discard, drizzle the garlic infused wine over the meat and massage in.
- Fennel version – scatter the fennel over the meat and massage in.
- Which ever version you have done, place it into the refrigerator for 15 minutes.
- Remove a small amount, enough for a thin patty, and fry until cooked.
- Taste you sausage to check for seasoning. Add more salt and pepper if needed. Let the meat rest for 15 minutes again before cooking another small amount for taste testing.
- Once you have the seasoning to your taste, shape your meat into either round patties or sausage shape.
- Rest for at least 4 hours or overnight before cooking or freezing.
I enjoyed the fennel version the most, I feel it was the closest to the flavour I love!
Thanks for reading.