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Pizza with Italian Sausage, Goat Cheese & Savory

For the meat eaters out there, making your own Italian sausage is one of the easiest ways to save money at the grocer. Meat departments profit most from their 'value added' items like this (and others including but not limited to: any ground meat with seasoning, any marinated meats, burger patties, flavored sausages, etc.), and I gotta say, the seasoning packs they get in big jugs do NOT compare with good herbs and spices you can grind at home. Our Italian sausage recipe is as follows (which you can double or halve as desired):

  • 2 lbs ground pork

  • 1 1/2 Tbsp salt (we prefer kosher)

  • 1 Tbsp brown sugar

  • 1 tsp minced garlic

  • 1 Tbsp fennel seed, toasted (30 seconds in a hot pan on the stove)

  • 1 tsp pepper

  • 1 T paprika

That's it. Just combine it all together with your hands and let it sit in the fridge, cvoered, for 24 hours before cooking, so it can absorb all those good flavors. If you want to go next level and grind your own, buy some pork shoulder and fat and do a 75% pork / 25% fat ratio, cube it up and toss it in the grinder (we have a small one we got from Cabela's that can handle up to 5 lbs).

For the pizza, we make our standard cornmeal crust that literally takes an hour to make (don't let anyone tell you you have to do an overnight recipe for pizza crust, those are fine but you can have crust ready in an hour - with an extra one to toss in your freezer) , roll up some of this Italian sausage similar to meatballs (but more flavorful, in my opinion), toss some pizza sauce together (tomato sauce, s&p, garlic, tiny bit of sugar, and a bay leaf if you have one), and top the pizza with this along with some crumbled goat cheese and thin-sliced sweet onion. I have a wee savory bush in the garden that I grabbed a handful of as well and minced it to sprinkle on top which is a great sub for oregano (and at least here is a bit more cold-hardy.

It's verrrrry tasty.


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