Cudighi Recipe

by Caroline Sciberras
0 comment 8 minutes read

Prep Time: 20 mins Cook Time: 20 mins

Total: 40 mins Yields: 8 sausages


Cudighi is a pork sausage originating from the Upper Michigan Peninsula, featuring flavors of wine and mulling spices like nutmeg, cinnamon, and cloves. It was introduced as Gudighi in 1936 by Italian immigrants inspired by Italian Cotechino sausage. To create the beloved Cudighi Sandwich in Upper Michigan, the key is mixing lean and fatty pork cuts with spices, then serving the cooked sausage in a roll with mozzarella cheese and marinara sauce, often garnished with sweet peppers while avoiding garlic and onions. It’s a versatile dish, and you can experiment to find your own unique Cudighi style.

Pioneer Woman Sausage Balls

What is Cudighi?

Cudighi is an Upper Michigan Peninsula pork sausage flavored with wine and mulling spices like nutmeg, cinnamon, and cloves. It was first sold as Gudighi in 1936 by Italian immigrants probably inspired by the popular Cotechino which has also fennel seeds.

Cudighi sausage is prepared by cutting lean and fatty parts of the pork into cubes (typically the shoulder and bacon). The magic just happens when you mix it with saltred wine, and various spices ( cinnamon, nutmeg, pepper ) and place it in a beef or hog casing. 

Homemade Cudighi Sausage uses pork preferably in the following proportion: 2/3 lean meat and 1/3 fatty meat. Lean meat can be pork (leg, shoulder) while fatty meat can be pancetta or guanciale. Depending on the quality of the pork and the percentage of fat you can also leave the fatty part. For every 2 lbs of meat, you must consider 1 tbsp of fine salt and 1 tbsp of ground black pepper, 1 clove garlic, nutmeg, cinnamon a clove, and dry wine (I always prefer the red).

The pork is cut into small pieces, and then “seasoned” with wine and spices. If you have a meat grinder, choose how fine you’re going to grind the meat. The whole thing is then passed with a meat grinder, choosing how fine you want the mixture to be, and then form the sausage paste. It’s up to you if you want to stuff sausage into casings or just freeze them as is. In that case, I suggest you use a meat grinder with a tube accessory to make the process easier. 

Cudighi Sandwich

What is Cudighi Sandwich

The Cudighi sandwich features a flavorful pork sausage, typically mixed with spices, stuffed into a roll, and served with mozzarella cheese and marinara sauce.

How to cook sausage patties

You can cook the Cudighi either on a grill, a burner, or skillet. Turn on the burner to medium to high warming it up. Then only once it has warmed up you can gently place each patty in a roundabout fashion on the skillet. After roughly about five to eight minutes go ahead and flip the patties you should see some good char marks here and make sure to cook this entirely the way through or until the middle of the pork patty itself reaches approximately 160°F / 70°C.

cook cudighi sausage

How to prepare the cudighi sandwich

To prepare this Michigan sandwich, start by cooking the pork patties and heating the marinara sauce. Then, assemble the sandwich by placing mozzarella-topped sausage patties in bread rolls, adding warm marinara sauce, sweet peppers, and optionally, grilled onions and garlic, before closing and pressing it gently to hold everything in place.

cudighi sandwich filling

Cudighi sandwich recipe


These are the ingredients for 2 lbs of pork.

For the sausage stuffing

  • Beef casings – 1 meter beef or hog casings.

For the ground pork mix (2 lbs):

  • Pork shoulder (spalla di maiale) – 9 1/2 oz (30 %) Pork Shoulder (spalla di maiale)
  • Pork neck – 9 1/2 oz 30 % Pork neck (capocollo)
  • Pork butt – 9 1/2 oz 30 % Pork butt (fondello)
  • Pancetta – 3 oz (5% – 10%) Pancetta

For the blend of spices

  • Dry Wine – ½ cup red or white wine
  • Salt – 1 tbsp of fine salt
  • Black Pepper – 1 tbsp of ground black pepper
  • Garlic – 1 clove, minced
  • Nutmeg – ¼ tsp or a pinch ground nutmeg
  • Cinnamon – ¼ tsp or a pinch ground cinnamon
  • Clovea clove, toasted

For one sandwich

  • Bread Roll – 1 bread roll
  • Cudighi patty – 5 oz Cudighi patty
  • Mozzarella Cheese – 1 oz mozzarella cheese
  • Sweet Pepper – 1 small sweet pepper
  • Onion – 1/4 onion
  • Garlic Clove – 1 garlic clove

Cudighi Recipe

Prepare the meat

  • Cut the meat into small pieces and mix with the wine and spices
  • Combine well and then pass through the mincer. If you don’t have a mincer then you can use the food processor.
  • Shape the sausage paste. Now you can either fill the paste into the casings or otherwise divide it into small pieces to freeze or cook as patties.
  • Optionally, if you want to stuff the sausage into casings then you need around 1 meter casing for every 1kg sausage meat. Beware that the casings need to be soaked in warm water and a glass of wine. If you’re using a meat grinder, the job is easier by putting them in the tube accessory. The casine must protrude around 3 inches and then be tied with a knot before inserting any meat.

Cook the Cudighi Sausage in a skillet

  • On the burner, heat the skillet on medium to high heat. Leave it warm up well before putting, the sausage patties to cook.
  • Leave to cook for 5-8 minutes before flipping the patty. Make sure it’s cooked throughout.

How to cook the Cudighi sausage in an oven

  • To cook Cudighi sausage in the oven, preheat it to 375°F (190°C), arrange the sausages on a baking sheet, and bake for 20-30 minutes or until they reach an internal temperature of 160°F (71°C), turning them occasionally for even cooking.

Assemble the Cudighi sandwich

  • Heat the marinara sauce and slice the sweet pickles, onions, garlic or any toppings you like for your sandwich.
  • Put the mozzarella cheese on top of the Cudighi sausage and put it back on the grill to melt the cheese.
  • Pour the marinara sauce covering the meat patty and top with the pickles, onion and garlic.
  • Enjoy!


  • The trick to obtaining the perfect Cudighi Sandwich loved by Yoopers is just to mix the lean pork cuts with the fatty ones and add the spices.
  • Once, the sausage meat is cooked, then put in a roll together with mozzarella cheese and marinara sauce. Then I like to top it with sweet peppers avoiding the garlic and onions altogether!
  • This is my take on cudighi! Just go for it and find your own Cudighi style.


  • Spicier. Add cayenne to the spices mix.
  • Meat recipe. Swap the Pork with beef or duck


How is the Cudighi Sausage Stored

Sausages can be stored by:
1. Freezing
2. Vacuum packing
3. Seasoning with extra salt.


Can you freeze the Cudighi sausages?

You can either make a real sausage by filling beef casings with the Cudighi sausage paste or form meat patties and freeze them before cooking.

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Cudighi Sandwich

Cudighi Recipe


Units Scale

For the sausage stuffing (optional)

  • 1 meter beef casings for 2 lbs ground pork making 6-8 patties.

For the ground pork mix

  • 9 1/2 ounces pork shoulder (spalla di maiale)
  • 9 1/2 ounces pork neck (capocollo)
  • 9 1/2 ounces pork butt (fondello)
  • 3 ounces pancetta

For the spice blend

  • 1/2 cup dry wine, red or white
  • 1 tbsp salt (fine *less is needed if you want to consume fresh sausage, while you need slightly more if you intend to season it()
  • 1 tbsp black pepper (ground)
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg, ground
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon, ground
  • 1 cloves, toasted

For 8 sandwiches

  • 8 Bread Rolls
  • 8 Cudighi patty
  • 16 slices Mozzarella Cheese
  • 8 Sweet Peppers
  • 2 Onions
  • 8 Garlic Cloves


Cudighi Sausage

  1. Cut the pork into coarse cubes just the right size to fit into the mincer. Spread everything out on a work surface, mixing the lean parts with the fat ones.
  2. Combine all the spices to a bowl.
  3. Spread the spices on the ground pork , mixing well, so that the ingredients blend well with each other.
  4. At this point, grind everything with the meat grinder choosing by how much you want the dough to be chopped more or less coarsely.
  5. If you want a very fine minced mixture you can brush the meat twice, otherwise just once, it depends on personal tastes. You can also leave a part of the bacon to be ground separately, which is coarser.
  6. Now add any other ingredients , such as wine or pepper or juniper grains, which could not be passed through the meat grinder. Mix well with your hands, or in a planetary mixer , to obtain a homogeneous mixture.
  7. The sausage is ready

Cudighi Sandwich

  1. Heat the marinara sauce and slice the sweet pickles, onions, garlic or any toppings you like for your sandwich.
  2. Put the mozzarella cheese on top of the Culighi sausage and put it back on the grill to melt the cheese.
  3. Pour the marinara sauce covering the meat patty and top with the pickles, onion and garlic.
  4. Enjoy!
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 16 minutes
  • Category: Dinner
  • Method: Frying
  • Cuisine: American

Keywords: barbeque, sausage meat, Michigan sausage, Upper Peninsula sandwich, cotechino

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