Sausage is one of those things that most people would rather not know how to make. Unless you are like me, and won't eat it unless you know EXACTLY how it is made.
When I first married into an Italian Catholic family, I thought it was downright weird that they would wait to go to church at midnight, Christmas Eve, so that they could come home in the middle of the night and eat sausage. (I grew up with the tradition that you sleep through the night and wake up early and have sausage for breakfast.) I am sure I don't understand the nuances of Catholicism and never will...but I do understand that sausage--especially Italian sausage--is delicious. So this is where the Catholics and the Pagans unite.
Fortunately, Mrs. Cinquino was willing to share her father's sausage recipe with her Pagan daughter-in-law. And now I'm going to share it with you...perhaps slightly altered (for instance, I don't stuff it into pig intestines--I just make it into patties). It's really pretty easy, and this is a giant vat of a recipe that makes enough to freeze for all winter (just make it into patties and put it in Ziploc bags and freeze). The original recipe calls for 24 pounds of meat! This one only calls for 7 pounds. If you want to make it smaller, I'm sorry, but you'll either have to do the math yourself or call my kids.
For Maria's simple hot Italian sausage recipe, go to www.mariasfarmcountrykitchen.com
Turkey Soup for the Soul - Maria's Farm Country Kitchen
Tasty, Healthy, Homemade Options for French Fry Fanatics - Rodale.com
History of Our Thanksgiving Meal - Organic Authority