Monday, April 15, 2013

How to Make Ground Meat Taste Like Italian Sausage

I like the flavor of crumbled Italian sausage in pasta dishes. It lends a depth of flavor that is just amazing. And let's face it, ground beef can be fatty, and in my opinion, ground turkey and ground chicken are lacking in the flavor department. However, there is some issues that I have with using sausage:

  1. It's difficult to find kosher sausage. Even when you have chicken sausage, for example, the casings...well, they don't come from a chicken. If you are trying to respect someone's eating preferences, well, sausage is pretty much out.
  2. Sausage is just so darn expensive. All meat prices in my neck of the woods has gone up, but I'm still trying to keep a budget. Honestly, this is the main reason I started experimenting with this.
I was actually surprised at how easy this process is. If you have a spice cabinet, chances are you have all of these ingredients on hand. The one item that's a little esoteric to me is the fennel seed, but I actually happened to have it on hand. The other spices were all jars that I regularly use on a monthly--if not weekly--basis. So here's how you make ground turkey taste like Italian sausage:

1 pound ground turkey
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 1/2 teaspoons dried Italian seasonings
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/8 teaspoon red pepper flakes
3/4 teaspoon dried fennel seeds

Mix gently. Or just dump it into a hot non-stick pan and mix it there and save washing a dish. Crumble as you cook. And that's it! A yummy (and cheaper!) alternative to Italian sausage.


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