Luganega

Courtesy of Ed Hoffmann

This mild but flavorful sausage is popular in Northern Italy where hot pepper fennel, and garlic aren’t as appreciated in sausages as they are farther south. Aromatic spices like nutmeg, coriander, and cinnamon, fragrant herbs like sage and marjoram, and often a light touch of lemon peel make this sausage an interesting and unusual addition to many bean and pasta dishes. It also makes an original and delightful breakfast sausage.

Luganega is usually stuffed info sheep casings and coiled, unlinked, in the refrigerator or display case. It is cut to order, and used in the casings or as a bulk sausage.

3 Ibs. pork butt
3/4 lb. pork back fat
4 tsp. kosher salt
1/4 tsp. freshly grated nutmeg
1/2 tsp. ground coriander
2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
Pinch cinnamon
1/4 tsp. ground sage
1/2 tsp. dried marjoram
1 tsp. sugar
1 tsp. minced garlic (optional)
1 tsp. grated lemon peel (optional)
2 tbsp. chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1/4 c. dry white wine or vermouth
1/4 c. water
Sheep casings

Mix all the ingredients, except the wine, water, and casings, in a large bowl, and grind through 1/4-inch plate. Moisten the mixture with the wine and water. Knead thoroughly until everything is well blended. Stuff into sheep casings, coiling the sausage as you go. Keeps 2-3 days refrigerated, 2-3 months frozen.

Makes 4 pounds