This recipe was originally featured in The 30 Second Wine Advisor's FoodLetter on Thursday, July 8, 2004.

Simple sausage

INGREDIENTS: (Serves two)

1/2 pound (250g) ground veal
1/2 pound (250g) ground pork
1/4 cup (60g) white bread crumbs
1/4 cup milk
1/2 teaspoon (5g) ground coriander
1/4 tsp ground mace (or nutmeg)
1/4 tsp ground white pepper
1 tsp salt

1 pound ground pork
1 egg
1 tsp fennel seeds
1 or 2 garlic cloves
1/4 tsp dried oregano
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes (more if you like it hot)
1/4 tsp black pepper
1 tsp salt


1. Mix all ingredients in a large bowl. If you prefer to approximate the texture of commercial bratwurst, process them in a food processor (steel blade) until the meat is chopped very fine, but I decided to keep the coarser texture of normally ground meat.

2. Form into burger-like patties, and grill over charcoal or gas or, if you prefer, cook in a nonstick skillet in a small amount of vegetable oil. Five minutes on a side should be plenty; you want to cook pork through but not overcook it to the point of dryness.

3. I served them like hamburgers, using small toasted white buns with lettuce, tomato and thin-sliced Vidalia onion; mayo or mustard to taste.

1. Break the egg and whisk it with a fork. Stir it into the ground pork, handling gently.

2. Grind the fennel seeds lightly with a mortar and pestle. Mince the garlic very fine. Stir them and all the remaining ingredients into the pork and egg mix.

3. Form into smallish meatballs, roughly 3/4 inch (20 mm). Cook in a nonstick skillet with a little vegetable oil until well-browned.

4. To finish the dish, I made a cup or so of quick fresh-tomato sauce (July 25, 2002 FoodLetter) and put the cooked meatballs in the sauce to simmer for the last 10 minutes, then served the sauce and meatballs over spaghetti.

MATCHING WINE: The blend of lighter meats and aromatic spices in the bratwurst called for a dry, "interesting" white, and Austrian Grüner Veltliner filled the bill nicely. Spaghetti with tomato sauce and meatballs calls for a country Italian red, but any dry, robust red table wine will do - the inexpensive, good-value Osborne Solaz from Spain and Egri Bikaver from Hungary featured in the June 30, 2004 30 Second Wine Advisor worked fine.