A coarse pork sausage, usually flavored with garlic and fennel and sold in links, the hot version (as opposed to the sweet Italian sausage) also contains hot red pepper and will look reddish when raw. Cook links whole on the stove or grill or slice them. You can also remove the meat from the casing and crumble it before cooking. Hot Italian sausage spices up grinders, pasta, stuffings and more.
Use sweet Italian sausage plus some crushed red pepper for heat.
Spiciness varies from sausage maker to sausage maker, so you may need to try a few kinds before choosing one with a texture and flavor you like best. You can usually find patties of hot Italian sausage as well.
To easily remove the meat from the casing, split the casing lengthwise.
Keep refrigerated, or freeze for longer storage,