This is a great basic recipe. I usually mix 1/2 lean ground turkey and 1/2 ground pork. This helps to cut some calories while still giving the flavor we want. I've made several varieties of this sausage by adding different herbs, both fresh and dried to change it up a bit, sometimes cutting back or eliminating the sugar, depending on what I'm using it for. I find my family likes a sweeter sausage for breakfast but more savory for other dishes. I've also used this basic recipe to make mild Italian sausage without fennel seeds. Most Italian sausage on the market is Sicilian style, heavy with fennel flavor and not what I like or use to, being from a Northern Italian family. I just add fresh basil, dried Italian seasoning, granulated garlic, onion powder, sage and marjoram, and eliminate the red pepper flakes, cloves and brown sugar for an Italian style sausage that is just delicious. You can also add some sun dried tomatoes for a fruitier flavor. Also, to the person who felt the seasoning wasn't blended thruout the meat, an easy fix for that is to spread the meat against and up the sides of the bowl with a fork, spreading it out as much as possible, almost forming a well in the center. Then sprinkle your seasoning mix evenly over the spread out meat. Then mix together and you will have a more even flavor.
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This is a great basic recipe. I usually mix 1/2 lean ground turkey and 1/2 ground pork. This...