I know that this does not sound like an exciting recipe, but it is a great one to have in your back pocket for jazzing up pasta, appetizers, pizzas, frittatas and lasagna. I love the clean flavors of the fennel seeds and hot pepper flakes here; you can actually taste the ingredients in this recipe because there’s not a ton of other competing flavors. You certainly don’t have to love fennel to love fennel sausage either, as the seeds are more mild-tasting than biting into a big chunk of raw fennel.
*This recipe specifically calls for using Diamond Crystal Kosher Salt, which is my preferred brand of kosher salt and what I’m using in any recipe on my site. I buy it in bulk! The salt granules are lighter and finer than my previously always-used brand, Morton’s, which makes it easier to spread seasoning on anything you’re making. Morton’s salt weighs more and just tastes saltier, so if you’re using it, you will likely want to use less than if you were using Diamond Crystal. If you only have Morton’s (or any other kind) of kosher salt, you may want to season lightly and cook up a bit of the sausage to taste, adjusting if necessary.
I live in a moderately -sized city and cannot find fresh fennel sausage anywhere…hot and sweet Italian sausage dominate (and might have some fennel seeds in them). So what do I do when I can’t find what I want? I make it myself! I have not yet ventured into stuffing my own sausages, but if anyone tries it and wants to let me know how it goes, I’d love to hear!
Ground pork simply flavored with red pepper flakes, fennel seed and garlic! Perfect for adding to any recipe (especially Italian recipes) that call for sausage!
2 teaspoons Diamond Crystal kosher saltor 1 teaspoon fine salt
1-1/2 teaspoons coarsely ground fennel seed plus 1/2 teaspoon whole seeds
1/2 to 1 tablespoon red pepper flakes
1 garlic clove, grated or mashed into a paste
1 pound ground pork
1 tablespoon dry white wine or vermouth
- In a medium mixing bowl, combine all of the ingredients. Using your hand, mix thoroughly for 1 minute, until the pork becomes sticky and the ingredients are fully mixed. Cover and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes, to allow the flavors to meld.
- Form into patties or add to your recipe as outlined in the instructions of the recipe.
- To cook, preheat a pan over medium heat. Add 1 tablespoon of oil and sautéuntil cooked through and the outside is starting to turn golden brown and crispy, about 7 to 9 minutes.
Inspiration: Italian Fennel Sausage on nytimes.com