The first time I had this was about 7 years ago when Ren used me as a crash taste dummy for her culinary experiments. We had a fun little holiday food business back then called Spoons Gourmet Foods which we did for about 2 seasons.
Whipping up some of her favorite recipes, we bottled, boxed, labeled and arranged the end products into these beautiful rustic-looking goodie baskets which people gave away as gifts during the holiday season. This recipe for Italian fennel sausage was a consensus favorite.
- 2 lbs or 1 kilo ground pork
- 1 Tbsp salt
- 2 Tbsps ground fennel seed. Start with whole fennel seeds and use your spice grinder attachment on your blender to grind them up, or do it manually in a mortar and pestle.
- 1 1/2 Tbsps sweet paprika
- 1 Tbsp finely minced fresh garlic
- 1 Tbsp sugar
- 1 tsp black pepper
- 3 Tbsps red wine vinegar
- Mix all ingredients together in bowl. Cover and let sit in refrigerator for 12 hours or overnight.
- To form sausages, place about 1 cup of mixture in plastic wrap. Shape into sausage and wrap with plastic into a tight roll. Tie both ends by forming knots. Wrap again in aluminum foil.
- Poach prepared sausages for 10 minutes or until firm to touch. Allow to cool and unwrap sausages. Serve pan-fried or grilled.
It’s like a pastilla, but made of pork and 8 inches long.
The finished product, beautifully browned, crumbled and ready for Ren’s Penne with Homemade Italian Fennel Sausage recipe.
Dug up from my archives, here’s one of those Spoons holiday baskets I was talking about. Everything in the basket was lovingly made by Ren, including puttanesca and pesto sauces, homemade focaccia, cookies, eggless caesar salad dressing, and of course, Italian fennel sausage.
DID YOU KNOW?
That fennel is believed to have many medicinal uses? In different parts of the world, it has been used to treat various ailments such as glaucoma, hypertension, digestive disorders, chronic coughs, and colic in babies. It was believed, though without any evidence, to improve the milk supply of lactating women, and was even used to drive away fleas from kennels and stables.