In the U.S, the term “Italian Sausage” refers to an uncooked pork sausage, seasoned with various herbs and spices. You’ll see them labeled at “hot” or “sweet” (also sometimes mild). The primary difference is the “hot” may have some red pepper flakes added, or in many cases, a dose of fennel seeds. I must prefer the “hot” variety.
StoneRidge sent along some of theirs for me to try, their recipe is (thankfully) very basic, and ingredients include: pork, water, salt. spices, pepper, dextrose, paprika, fennel, BHAk BHT, in a natural hog casing. Although it is not required, I par-boil the sausages, prior to putting them to saute in a cast iron skillet, on a grill, or on the grill. As these are in a natural casing, and you’ll want to retain all the flavor and juices, low and slow is the key to cooking, otherwise the casing may burst, and you’ll lose all that deliciousness inside.
Today I’m using them in a spaghetti sauce, actually burning up canned tomato sauce I made last fall, have to use up the inventory before the tomato season starts for this year. My sauce is very basic, onions, garlic, cooked down tomatoes, basil, oregano, fennel and red wine. Cook for a day or two and reduce by half.
After the fry pan, I’ve sliced the sausages on a bias (angle) just for aesthetics. You can incorporate the sausages into the sauce, or serve them whole as a side dish. Even better? Throw them on a firm hoagie roll, add a dollop or two of sauce, and melt some provolone or mozz over them.
I am very particular about my Italian sausage, and StoneRidge makes some of the best I have ever had, and I will be a regular customer; I can purchase them online and have them shipped right to the kitchen!
If I run out of my own ideas, I know I can pick up some pointers from StoneRidge’s Pinterest site.
StoneRidge Italian Sausage Review