Umbrian Pork Sausage

This recipe came into being because we were doing a special regional menu in honor of Umbria and I was feeling sad because I couldn’t get hold of any of the truffles for which Umbria is so famous. I scanned my cookbooks for inspiration and stumbled upon a recipe for salsiccia all’uva, or sausage with grapes, and another for coppa seasoned with orange peel and spices. I don’t remember what possessed me to add the pine nuts, except that I suspected that the combination would taste good and sound appealing on the menu as well. We didn’t have grapes, so we substituted raisins plumped in hot water. The other ingredients were added for contrast and crunch. So, true confession time, this is not a real Umbrian sausage. A composite of Umbrian tastes, the invention is pure Square One.

Ingredients

  • ½ cup raisins
  • 2 pounds ground pork,
  • the weight in fat
  • ¼ cup pine nuts, toasted
  • 1 tablespoon grated orange zest
  • 1 tablespoon finely minced garlic
  • teaspoons (or to taste) salt
  • teaspoons (or to taste) freshly ground pepper
  • 2 feet hog casing (optional)
  • Olive oil for cooking sausages

Method

Soak the raisins in hot water to cover 30 minutes; drain. Combine the drained raisins, pork, pine nuts, orange zest, garlic, salt, and pepper in a mixing bowl and mix well with your hands. Fry a small patty as a test and adjust seasoning to taste.

Using the sausage attachment on a heavy-duty mixer, stuff the casings with the mixture and twist and tie to make 4-inch links. Or simply shape into 4-inch patties.

Heat the grill or broiler. If the sausages are in casings, prick with a fork 2 to 3 times and brush with oil. Grill or broil the sausages 3 to 4 minutes each side until cooked through. For patties, brush with a little oil and grill about 3 minutes each side or saute in a little oil over high heat.