Quick Italian Sausage

Sausage is a fabulously versatile ingredient, adding protein and a ton of flavor to so many meals. It’s great in soups, pasta sauce, or alongside eggs for breakfast. One challenge when you have food allergies is that many sausages contain unidentified “spices” and “natural flavorings.” In addition, if you have latex fruit syndrome, you may be allergic to celery, which is a common natural flavor enhancer that has replaced MSG in many sausages and prepared meat products. MSG, of course, is a soy product, so that’s not an option either. Mustard, which also cross reacts with latex, is a very common sausage spice too. With all of those allergy conflicts, I have yet to find a commercially made sausage that I can safely eat. That’s where this recipe comes in.

When I was a kid, my mom used to make homemade breakfast sausage with ground turkey. My family was a grape-nuts, no-sugar, low-fat kind of family at that time, and my mom made the turkey sausages so we would have a healthier option, and they were great, so I’ve kept making them as an adult. This recipe uses the same idea, but changes the spices to make an italian sausage that I can serve with pasta, in soup, or on gluten-free, tomato-free pizza.

Traditional sausage making can be daunting as it requires special equipment and a lot of time. However this sausage, in addition to being low fat and flavorful, is quick and easy to prepare. For me, it’s a convenience food. I cook it once; then I freeze the leftovers in individual portions. Later, when I want to serve a quick mid-week pasta and sausage meal for my family, I buy a sausage that they all like, and I just pull out a serving of my own sausage to cook on the side. Et voilà! Dinner is ready in short order.

If you have the time and equipment, though, you can make a wide variety of sausages with different flavors and textures. As long as you are careful to choose ingredients that don’t cross-react with latex, you could have many delectable and safe-to-eat sausages. For more about great traditional sausage making, I recommend reading Dana Velden’s interview with boutique butcher Ryan Farr on TheKitchn.com. Bon appetit!

Allergy Notes:

  • Be sure to read the ingredients on the ground turkey. Many have added spices or “natural flavorings” from unidentfied sources.
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Italian Sausage
Simple, no-fuss turkey sausage crumbles or patties.
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 10-15 minutes
Servings
servings
Ingredients
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 10-15 minutes
Servings
servings
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Put the ground turkey in a large mixing bowl; then sprinkle the spices over the meat.
  2. To distribute the spices evenly, mix the ingredients by gently lifting the meat with two wooden spoons, similar to tossing a salad. Keep "tossing" the meat and spices until the spices appear evenly distributed.
  3. If you want to make sausage crumble, then just take the mixture as is. If you want a dense sausage that will hold together in dishes you make, then you want to don some non-latex gloves and mix the meat with your hands until the texture is somehwhat smooth, but don't mix for too long or the sausage will be too hard when cooked. Once it is mixed, you can form it into 1/2 inch thick patties.
  4. Brown the sausage in a pan over medium to medium-high heat with pure canola oil. When the meat is browned, but not cooked through, turn the heat down to medium, add 1/4 cup water, and place a lid on the pan to finish the cooking. The patties should be firm and reach an internal temperature of at least 165°F.
Recipe Notes

My recipes avoid all ingredients listed on the American Latex Allergy Association website as known for cross-reacting with latex as well as a few other ingredients that I have discovered elsewhere. However, latex-fruit syndrome is still an emerging issue and poorly understood. There may be other foods that cross-react, and people with latex-fruit syndrome often have other food allergies independent of their latex allergy. Each individual is different, so be sure to discuss with your allergist the safest way for you to try out ingredients that are new to you before you cook with them.

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