Life in a Northern Town

It's Not Boun Giorno Sausage But It's Close...Enough

I have high standards for Italian sausage, thanks to Boun Giorno Italian Market in St Paul. Their Sicilian sausage is, hands down, the best sausage I've ever eaten but it's four hours away from Bayfield. I'm game for all sorts of crazy food related adventures but driving to St Paul for sausage is too outrageous, even for me. So, I did what any desperate Sicilian sausage searching woman would do— I searched the internet for the recipe. No luck. It seems the good people at Buon Giorno aren't giving up the goods and I had to cobble together my own version of garlicky, fennel laced, spicy sausage.

I'm not sure if it was the wine (a full-bodied, jammy Tuscan blend of Sangiovese, Colorino, Canaiolo, Merlot, Petit Verdot) or if Ted's Italian genes are finally rubbing off on me but I was pleased with my pile of pseudo Sicilian sausage. It's a little spicy, a little garlicky with a little fennel and wine— I'm not sure if it would pass muster at Boun Giorno but I suspect Frank would approve.

Sicilian Sausage

6 pounds ground pork
3 tbsp. kosher salt
4 tbsp. fennel seeds
1 1/2 cup red wine
2 tbsp. black pepper
3 tbsp. red pepper flakes
1/4 cup garlic, chopped
2 tbsp. dried oregano
4 tbsp. paprika
1/4 cup fresh basil, chopped

Preparation
In a large bowl, place all the ingredients and mix to thoroughly combine. Cook about a tablespoon of the raw sausage in a small sauté pan over medium heat to taste for seasonings. Adjust the seasonings, if necessary, and place in refrigerator, in a covered container, for up to 3 days or freeze for up to 2 months.