Cudighi Recipe

by Caroline Sciberras
0 comment 7 minutes read

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 from the popular Cotechino which has also fennel seeds.

The trick to obtain 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.

Yields: 2 pounds sausage / 6-8 patties.
Prep Time: 20 mins Cook Time: 20 mins Total: 40 mins


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 placed in a beef or hog casing. 


Homemade Cudighi Sausage uses pork preferably using the following proportion: 2/3 of lean meat and 1/3 of fatty meat . Lean meat can be pork (leg, shoulder) while the 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 each 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 , then “seasoned” with the 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. 

Sausage Stuffing

If you want to stuff the sausage into casings then you need around 1 meter casing for every 1kg sausage meat. Beware that the casins 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 acessory. The casine must protrude around 3 inches and then tied with a knot before inserting any meat.

How are sausages stored?

Sausages can be stored by:

  1. Freezing
  2. Vacuum packing
  3. Seasoning with extra salt.

How to prepare the Cudighi Sandwich

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.

Now that our pork patties are completely cooked and the Cudighi is ready then we can go ahead and prepare the sandwich. Let’s start with heating some good marinara sauce, then slice some sweet peppers and cut the bread rolls in half. Take you sausage meat patties, place the mozzarella on top and put it back to the grill to melt the cheese. Place it on the roll, add the warmed marinara sauce and gently drip that on top covering the entirety of the patty. Add as much as you like and then add the sweet pickled peppers or a roasted bell pepper. Some people love their Cudighi sandwich also with grilled onions and garlic but I like to keep it simple. Finally go ahead and close your sandwich. Press down a little bit so it keeps in place.

Cudighi Sandwich Ingredients

  • beef casings or hog casings.

GROUND PORK RATIO (for every 2 lbs)

  • 30 % pork shoulder (spalla di maiale)
  • 30 % pork neck (capocollo)
  • 30 % pork butt (fondello)
  • 5 – 10 % pancetta

SPICES BLEND (for every 2 lbs of pork)

  • 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

SANDWICH (for 1 person)

  • Bread Roll
  • 150g Cudighi patty
  • 20g Mozzarella Cheese
  • 1 Small Sweet Pepper
  • 1/4 Onion
  • 1 Garlic Clove



  • 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 into small pieces to freeze or cook as patties.


  • 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.


  • 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!


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


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.


Cudighi Recipe

Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 16 mins
Total Time 40 mins
Course Dinner
Cuisine American
Servings 6 portions


  • beef casings

Ground Pork ratio for every 2 lbs

  • 30 % pork shoulder (spalla di maiale)
  • 30 % pork neck (capocollo)
  • 30 % pork butt (fondello)
  • 5 – 10 % pancetta

Spice Blend

  • ½ 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
  • ¼ tsp nutmeg, ground
  • ¼ tsp cinnamon, ground
  • 1 cloves, toasted

Sandwich (for 1 person)

  • 1 Bread Roll
  • 1 Cudighi patty
  • 2 slices Mozzarella Cheese
  • 1 Sweet Pepper
  • ¼ Onion
  • 1 Garlic Clove


Cudighi Sausage

  • 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.
  • Combine all the spices to a bowl.
  • Spread the spices on the ground pork , mixing well, so that the ingredients blend well with each other.
  • At this point, grind everything with the meat grinder choosing by how much you want the dough to be chopped more or less coarsely.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • The sausage is ready

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 Culighi 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!
Keyword barbeque, sausage meat

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