The Italian side of my family was from the areas near Perugia (Nonna) and Roma (Nonno). It was pretty clear they felt a distinction between themselves and "southern" Italians in many things, including sausage. Nonno's homemade sausage never contained fennel - that was a southern Italian thing - and I never even tasted sausage with fennel until I was an adult, which I really liked. My mom was not too thrilled about that. So a rose by any other name...
Anyway, after my Grandfather passed, my mom struggled trying to reproduce the flavor of his simple recipe, which is pretty much what Jeff v posted (without the fennel, of course), which drove her crazy since it always her job growing up to assist and she had seen it done a thousand times. The bad news is she never really nailed it and we finally decided it was a physical step she was lacking. The closest she got, which was very, very good, was only after the addition of what seemed like way too much salt. Unfortunately, my main involvement at the time was as a taster, but I recall all the rejoicing and comments about how much salt! Despite only 4 ingredients, it was very flavorful indeed. The missing step was the hanging of the sausage in the unused coal room down in the basement.
Aw, memories. Now I'm getting misty.
Chiudere la luce,