CNYEats A Taste of Utica Sausage Recipes

by Joanne on January 16, 2011

This week for the Utica recipes, we begin on page 95 and work our way to page 97 for all the sausage recipes.  Beginning with Bob Hovish’ “Hot Italian Sausage” and ending with Chris’ “Giuseppe’s Italian Sausage”.  Take your pick and enjoy.  The recipe I used for Ted was on page 96 “Medium Hot Sausage” by Mario.  Ted’s comment “This is REALLY good!” Thumbs up 


All recipes can be found in our book “A Taste of Utica


Recipe 1:  Beginning on page 95 and posted by Bob Hovish “Hot Italian Sausage”


I don’t expect anyone in Utica to make this as there are so many excellent meat markets to buy the absolute best Italian sausage around.  This is for fellow Uticans like myself that live in faraway places and are tired of commercial sausages they try to tell us are Italian.  I was given a recipe for Italian sausage from Louie on Bleeker Street.  Unfortunately, all spices were in ounces and for 15 pounds of ground pork.  So I played around until I came up with a pretty tasty sausage that could hold us down til we go back to Utica! – Bob Hovish

Go to your favorite market and have them ground 4 pounds of pork shoulder with the fat, otherwise the sausage will be dry.

  • Add to the 4 pounds of coarsely ground pork”:
  • 1 TBS Cayenne pepper
  • 1 TBS black pepper
  • 2 TBS salt
  • 2 TBS paprika
  • 2 TBS of whole fennel seeds
  • 1 cup cold water

In a blender, add the fennel seed to the water and blend til seeds are chopped but not totally blended away.  Add pork with the rest of the spices.  This is going to be a spicy sausage so you might want to cut the cayenne pepper in half.  Remember the number one rule in cooking, you can add but you can’t subtract!  Spices really kick in after a night in the frig, so be careful if you don’t want it too hot.  I always fry a small amount to taste after mixing it together.  Oh yeah, my own version is that I add 1 tsp of anise seed with the fennel seed to the blender for extra flavor.

Recipe 2:  Posted by Pat   “Sausage in Oil” – not a recipe but a method  NOTE:  To avoid food contamination, you may need to purchase a “cure” such as Prague No. 2  (Prague powder #2, also known as Insta-Cure #2 or Prague #2. Used for slow/dry curing sausages such as salami, pepperoni, etc. Ingredients: sodium chloride, sodium nitrite (6.25%), sodium nitrate, FD&C red #40 (.0040%) with no more than 1% sodium carbonate added to retain stability. Use 1 level teaspoon of cure for every 5 lbs of ground meat or 8 oz (whole bag) to every 200 lbs. Net Weight: 8 oz (1/2 lb).  More information found here if you want to dry your own sausage safely.

When I lived in Utica, we would make 100 lbs at a time during the cold weather.  There was no special recipe, just your favorite sausage recipe then let it dry over a period of time.  We cured ours over poles in the attic, leaving attic windows cracked a bit for circulation.

In later years, we would make smaller batches by placing links on the top shelf of a frost free fridge.  The shelf has to allow for air passage and so cannot be solid.  It takes just about 30 days to dry and you have to turn the links over each day.  When dry, simply place in olive oil and always make sure no part of a link sticks above the oil. – Pat

Recipe 3: Page 96 Posted by Mario  “Medium Hot Sausage” *This is the recipe I used and the one photographed in this post. For sausage patties,  2 lb sausage made 10-12 hamburger size patties.


  • 1 pork butt (4 to 5 lbs) coarsely ground
  • 2 tsp paprika or sweet red pepper
  • 1 tsp crushed hot pepper
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt
  • 4 tsp fennel seeds

Mix all ingredients together.  Either make links or patties.



There are times where I want to have the pork butt ground a little finer.  I usually put it through the grinder twice to get that perfect consistency.

Instead of crushed hot pepper, fine ground cayenne pepper is an option.  It spreads the heat more uniformly and offers a different taste.

Don’t remove all the fat from the pork butt. You need some to add flavor when cooking.  -Mario

Cook patties about 5 minutes per side or until cooked through. *I added  1 TBS olive oil for cooking since I used a 90/10 ground pork and added a bit of healthy fat back in. –Joanne (ME!)


Recipe 4:  Page 96 posted by Fat Sal “Nonnie’s Italian Sausage – An Oliva Family Recipe”

  • 4 lbs coarsely ground pork butt or shoulder
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 2 TBS paprika
  • 2 tsp fennel seed
  • 2 TBS hot red pepper flakes (optional)
  • Sausage casings, soaked in water to soften and remove salt (optional)

Mix pork and spices.  Cover and let sit overnight in the fridge.  From into either patties or stuff into the casings.

Recipe 5:  Page 97 posted by Chris “Giuseppe’s Italian Sausage”

This recipe was given to me by a dear friend who has navigated to Arizona.  He grew up in East Utica and this is his family recipe.  I watched him make it a couple of times.  Made it myself once with a friend and ate it several times.  It is the best!!! – Chris

  • 2 1/2 TBS fennel seed
  • 3 oz paprika
  • 3 oz salt
  • 1 oz hot red pepper
  • 2 shoulder pork butts (10 lbs)
  • sausage casings

Ask your butcher to debone and coarse grind the pork, one time.  Mix all ingredient and let stand overnight in the fridge.  Casings come packed in salt.  Rinse thoroughly and then stuff.  Makes 10 servings.

Note:  All weight is measured on a diet scale and not by a measuring cup.  This will make a difference in the amount of ingredients you use.


There you have it.  Everyone’s favorite recipe for sausage making.  Hope you like sausage, if not, and you’re vegetarian like me, you can always make one of the recipes for a party or friends or maybe someone in your home eats meat.  Enjoy!

Next week:  BBQ Beef.  Ted is going to  L O V E  that one.  Red heart

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        • At 2011.01.16 17:16, Monet said:

          I think those fennel seeds make all the difference. I love when I find sausage that includes them! Thank you for sharing your recipes with me today. I hope you have a great week…I can’t believe Monday is almost here…these weekends don’t last long enough for my liking!

          • At 2011.01.16 21:08, Pam @ THC said:

            Heman and I will be in town for the BBQ beef dish next week, yippy!!
            Love the new look of your website, everything really pops off the page 🙂

            • At 2011.01.18 14:25, World Spinner said:

              CNYEats A Taste of Utica Sausage Recipes…

              Here at World Spinner we are debating the same thing……

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