A highly rated Italian sausage recipe combines pork with various spices and red wine, which can then be cased or left uncased. The recipe requires 45 minutes of preparation time, and offers options to refrigerate, freeze or cook the sausage.
To make Italian sausage, combine 3 pounds of well-marbled pork butt that has been cut into 1/2-inch pieces with 2 tablespoons garlic, 1 tablespoon plus 1 1/2 teaspoons paprika, 1 tablespoon salt and 1 tablespoon freshly cracked black pepper. Add 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper, 1/2 teaspoon ground anise, 2 tablespoons fresh, chopped parsley leaves and 3 tablespoons dry, red wine to the mixture. Cover and refrigerate the Italian sausage mixture overnight or for up to 24 hours.
After chilling, pass the sausage mixture through a meat grinder with a medium die attachment, or process it in a food processor in batches until it is finely ground. The sausage can then be stuffed into casings or shaped into patties. The uncooked sausage can be frozen for up to three months or refrigerated for up to three days. Once the Italian sausage has been cooked to an internal temperature of 150 degrees Fahrenheit, it can be used in recipes such as spaghetti with sausage and mushroom sauce, or as a topping for pizza.