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How to Make Italian Homemade Sausage (No Casings or Machine Needed)

January 4, 2019 (Last Updated: January 8, 2019)

How to make juicy and delicious homemade sausage bursting with classic Italian flavours from fennel seeds, garlic, and red wine. These sausages can be made easily at home without any casings, skins or machine. Serve with polenta, a rich tomato sauce or with lentils for a classic Italian meal.

Homemade sausage on a plate with a bowl of lentils in the middle and rosemary scattered around

Italian sausages are like no other they’re juicy, salty and packed with the most delicious seasonings from fresh herbs, garlic, and red wine. Add them to a tomato sauce for an instant kick of flavour, crumble them in with pasta, on top of pizza or add them to a stew the list is endless and you know the flavour is going to be absolutely delicious!

Homemade Sausage Seasoning

The most common herbs found in Italian sausages are rosemary, oregano and fennel but there are a whole list of seasonings you could use when making them at home;

  • Chili flakes (dried or jarred)
  • Nduja – a spicy Calabrian salami which is great mixed in
  • Marjorum – dried
  • Sage – fresh finely chopped
  • Parsley – fresh finely chopped
  • Red wine – gives a delicious rich flavour

What’s the Best Meat to Use to Make Homemade Sausage?

Italian sausages are made with pork meat and contain a high percentage of fat because fat means flavour! To make the best homemade sausage I use minced pork shoulder.

Top Tip: Don’t be tempted to use regular pork mince or ground pork from your supermarket because even the fattiest variety is not enough for these sausages. Ground pork also gives these sausages a super fine texture that more resembles a burger rather than a super juicy Italian sausage.

The trick is to buy diced pork shoulder and blitz it in a food processor at home (see photos 1 & 2 below) that way you can control the texture and know you’re getting good quality meat. It should be fine with chunks of fat.

How to Make Homemade Sausage (without Casing or Machine) – Step By Step

Blitz the diced pork shoulder in a food processor for 30-60 seconds. You might need to do this in two batches depending on how powerful your processor is. It should be fine with chunks of fat (photo 2).

Next add the minced garlic, herbs and salt and pepper. Make sure to use fresh rosemary and chop it very fine, dried rosemary doesn’t have as strong a flavour (photo 3).

Step by step photos for making Italian homemade sausage

Pour over the red wine and mix everything together until thoroughly combined using your hands (photos 4 – 7). Top Tip: If you see any sinew, long stretchy pieces of fat then remove it (see photo 6). There shouldn’t be much at all.

Cover with cling film and let the meat marinate for at least 30 minutes if possible. Separate the pork sausage meat into 8 even portions then shape into a rough sausage shape (photo 8).

Lay out a small sheet of cling film and place the sausage meat at one of the widest edges. Roll it tightly without too much force and twist and tie the edges (photos 10 -12).

Bring a pot of water to a boil and turn off the heat. Add the sausages to the hot water for around 30 seconds so they firm up and keep their shape. Place on a plate and cut the edges to remove from the cling film (photos 13 & 14).

You can now let them cool and place in the fridge until you need them or fry them in a little olive oil in a large pan until browned on all sides and cooked through for around 10 minutes (photo 15).

Step by step photos for rolling up homemade sausage

Do the Casings Make a Difference?

Yes, there’s a reason why sausages are made with casings because it keeps a ton of flavor in and keeps them moist and juicy. The thing is it can be a fiddly task and you also need a machine for mincing and piping the sausages.

By doing this way you get a ton of flavour, there’s no need for casings or a machine and the compromise is that they are a little less juicy but still damn delicious.

Ways to Serve Homemade Italian Sausages

To bring in the New Year Italian sausages are served with lentils as a sign of good luck and wealth for the coming year. It’s super delicious, healthy and easy to make. I also love to serve sausages with a red pepper sauce or tomato sauce with creamy silky soft polenta or roast potatoes.

Here are some more recipes to use your homemade sausage with:

Two whole homemade sausages on a plate and another one cut in half with a rosemary sprig at the side

Extra Tips for Making Italian Homemade Sausage

  • Make sure to use high-quality pork meat with a good ratio of fat, I recommend pork shoulder
  • Wrap the sausage meat tightly so no water gets inside
  • You can prep the sausages in advance up to step 14 (see photo) and store them in the fridge to fry later
  • If you are adding the meat to ragu, sauces or pizzas etc then use the marinaded meat as it is there’s no need to form into a sausage shape

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5 from 5 votes

Homemade Italian sausages

How to make juicy and delicious homemade sausage bursting with classic Italian flavours from fennel seeds, garlic, and red wine. These sausages can be made easily at home without any casings, skins or machine. Serve with polenta, a rich tomato sauce or with lentils for a classic Italian meal.
Course Main Course
Cuisine Italian
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
marinating time (optional) 30 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Servings 8 fat sausages (serves 4)
Calories 101kcal
Author Emily Kemp

Ingredients

  • 1.7 lbs (800g) pork shoulder diced
  • 2 tbsp fennel seeds
  • 4 cloves garlic (large) minced
  • 1/4 cup (60ml) red wine
  • 4 sprigs rosemary fresh finely chopped
  • 2 tsp sea salt
  • 1 tsp freshly ground pepper

Special equipment

  • cling film (plastic wrap)

Instructions

  • Blitz the diced pork shoulder in a food processor for 30-60 seconds. You might need to do this in two batches depending on how powerful your processor is. It should be fine with chunks of fat.
  • Next add the minced garlic, herbs and salt and pepper. Make sure to use fresh rosemary and chop it very fine, dried rosemary doesn't have as strong a flavour.
  • Pour over the red wine and mix everything together until thoroughly combined using your hands. If you see any sinew, long stretchy pieces of fat then remove it (see photo 6). There shouldn't be much at all.
  • Cover with cling film and let the meat marinate for at least 30 minutes if possible. Separate the pork sausage meat into 8 even portions then shape into a rough sausage shape.
  • Lay out a small sheet of cling film and place the sausage meat at one of the widest edges. Roll it tightly without too much force and twist and tie the edges.
  • Bring a pot of water to a boil and turn off the heat. Add the sausages to the hot water for around 30 seconds so they firm up and keep their shape. Place on a plate and cut the edges to remove from the cling film.
  • You can now let them cool and place in the fridge until you need them or fry them in a little olive oil in a large pan until browned on all sides and cooked through for around 10 minutes.

Notes

Top Tips for Making Italian Homemade Sausage
  • Make sure to use high-quality pork meat with a good ratio of fat, I recommend pork shoulder
  • Wrap the sausage meat tightly so no water gets inside
  • You can prep the sausages in advance up to step 14 (see photo) and store them in the fridge to fry later
  • If you are adding the meat to ragu, sauces or pizzas etc then use the marinaded meat as it is there's no need to form into a sausage shape
Homemade Sausage Seasoning
The most common herbs found in Italian sausages are rosemary, oregano and fennel but there are a whole list of seasonings you could use when making them at home;
  • Chili flakes (dried or jarred)
  • Nduja - a spicy Calabrian salami which is great mixed in
  • Marjorum - dried
  • Sage - fresh finely chopped
  • Parsley - fresh finely chopped
  • Red wine - give a delicious rich flavour

Nutrition

Calories: 101kcal | Carbohydrates: 1g | Protein: 11g | Fat: 4g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 39mg | Sodium: 627mg | Potassium: 240mg | Vitamin C: 1.2mg | Calcium: 28mg | Iron: 1.1mg
Helpful Info for All Recipes
  • I always use extra virgin olive oil in all of my recipes unless stated otherwise
  • When I use canned or jarred tomatoes of any kind I always use this brand for the best results and flavour
  • All vegetables are medium sized unless stated otherwise
  • All recipes are tested and developed using a fan oven
  • Find out more about how nutrition is calculated here
  • Check out our must have Italian Pantry Staples here
  • You can also find all our Essential Kitchen Tools for Italian Cooking here
Did you try this recipe?Mention @insidetherustickitchen or tag #insidetherustickitchen! We'd love you see what you're getting up to in the kitchen!

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12 Comments

  • Reply
    Jami
    January 5, 2019 at 3:59 am

    Can you freeze these? If so, would you do it with the plastic intact?

    • Reply
      Inside the rustic kitchen
      January 5, 2019 at 1:41 pm

      Hi Jami, yes you can freeze them. Make sure your plastic wrap is freezer safe then I’d freeze them raw before cooking. Hope you enjoy!

  • Reply
    Veena Azmanov
    January 4, 2019 at 3:59 pm

    These looks yummy and simple to make too. Great Snack for a Party too. Love the flavors to it too.5 stars

  • Reply
    Kelly Anthony
    January 4, 2019 at 3:31 pm

    I’ve never made homemade sausage. It always looked too hard or complicated but your easy to follow directions make making sausage look easy.5 stars

  • Reply
    Cathy
    January 4, 2019 at 3:06 pm

    Emily, I’m in love with this recipe! I love pork shoulder and the idea of pork shoulder sausages sounds amazing! The spices used are fabulous too…saving this recipe for sure!!5 stars

  • Reply
    Bintu | Recipes From A Pantry
    January 4, 2019 at 2:42 pm

    These sausages look so delicious and ever so flavourful!5 stars

  • Reply
    Natalie
    January 4, 2019 at 2:08 pm

    Looks so delicious! I never thought of making homemade sausage but it sure looks amazing!5 stars

  • Leave a Reply

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