There are numerous varieties of Italian sausage, and what distinguishes them from several other sausages is the seasoning. Typically, fennel is what differentiates an Italian sausage from others. This is a licorice-scented herb, which provides the sausage its distinct flavor.
The following are the different types of Italian sausage:
Salamella is a fresh pork sausage typically found in northern Italy, particularly in Mantua and the Trento region (where it’s known as salsiza). The most notable salamellas are those from Mantua and those from Caderzone in Trento. This sausage is made entirely of pork shoulder meats and pancetta, coarsely processed in a meat grinder with flavorings and salt.
Salamella is consumed cooked. It’s typically grilled or used to enhance other dishes, as in Mantuan cuisine, where it’s one of the significant ingredients in risotto with salamella and pumpkin, a delicious combo in which the savory taste of salamella counterbalances the sweetness of the pumpkin.
Mortadella Bologna is a typical Italian sausage cooked from lardelli (cubes of fat), pig, and selected seasonings. Mortadella’s origins can be traced to ancient Bologna (the Etruscan city of Felsina and the surrounding territories rich in oak trees), which produced excellent tubers and acorns for the multiple local swine (domesticated and wild).
The great city of Bologna, called La Grassa (meaning the fat one), is the home of this famous sausage, as suggested by its full name. However, manufacturing takes place throughout central-northern Italy (Piedmont, Emilia-Romagna, Veneto, Marche, Lombardy, Tuscany, Lazio, and Trento).
Soppressata is a typical Italian sausage, which comes in a variety of regional variants. Soppressata sausages are made primarily of roughly sliced pork fat and meat, although the Tuscan type also includes offal and is similar to head cheese or brawn.
Unlike the dried and pressed types found in Apulia, Basilicata, and Calabria, the most frequent varieties in Liguria and Tuscany are sold fresh and in massive, spherical shapes. The main seasonings are pepper and salt, but many other spices, such as citrus zest or pepperoncinos, can be used based on tradition and area.
This Italian specialty from Spilinga, Calabria, is a chili-spiced, cured pig salami with the texture of pâté. It’s frequently tied with string in a segment of the intestine of a pig. Nduja can be eaten in various ways, including as an ingredient in pasta sauces and other egg-based meals or as a spread on roasted, grilled, or seared fish and meat.
However, the most common way to eat nduja is to spread it on toasted or grilled bread and pair it with burrata or fresh ricotta cheese.
Salami is a cured sausage made from fermented and air-dried meat, most commonly pork. Salami was historically popular among peasants in Eastern, Central, and Southern Europe because it can be preserved at room temperature for around 40 days once cut, augmenting a potentially poor or irregular supply of fresh meat. Throughout Europe, several regions and countries produce their traditional salami types.
A traditional salami is produced from pork or beef and has a marbled appearance (sometimes specifically veal). Beef is commonly used in kosher and halal salami, which don’t contain pork for religious reasons. Other meats used by the makers include venison and poultry (mainly turkey).
In portions of Northern Italy, goose salami is a traditional dish. Horseflesh has also been used to make salami. Donkey meat is also used for salami in the Provence region of France, where it’s sold in street markets.
Additional commonly used components include fat, minced garlic, spices (typically white pepper), vinegar, salt, wine, and various herbs.
Ventricina is a well-known Italian cured sausage manufactured in the Molise and Abruzzo regions. This Italian delicacy is created in Abruzzo in two major, distinctly different kinds.
Ventricina Teramana is a soft, spreadable variation made with fattier lard, pork pieces, garlic, fennel seeds, rosemary, orange zest, salt, and pepperoncini. It’s great when spread on fresh bread and coupled with local red wine.
Ventricina del Vastese, on the other hand, is a firm, cured sausage made with sweet and spicy pepper, roughly chopped lean pork, garlic, wild fennel seeds, and black pepper; it’s typically eaten thickly sliced with crusty toast.
Pisto is a characteristic Mantua product that’s very similar to cotechino. It was created to utilize up leftovers from salami manufacture and is now known as a Prodotto Agroalimentare Tradizionale of the Lombardy region.
It’s best described as a very soft sausage cooked with pancetta, ground pork, wine, garlic, pepper, and salt. Pisto is commonly served with polenta when cooked, but it’s also used as a flavor in local risotto dishes, such as the famous local meal, risotto alla pilota.
Italian Sausage Flavor
When it comes to Italian sausage, most people are familiar with the variety found in pasta sauces and on pizza. This is manufactured both with and without the casing. The casing is usually removed when cooking with this style of sausage.
Italian sausage is often available in three flavors: sweet, mild, and hot. Sweet basil is typically used to season the sweet, whereas chili peppers are used to season the hot.