Sun City Italian Culture Club prepares sausage


viewsiteH_jan2013-11It’s often said that you are better off not knowing how two things are made: laws and sausage. But the Sun City Italian Culture Club thinks differently. To them, making sausage is a link to their Italian roots, a way to bond with friends, and an opportunity to spread culinary pleasure.

“Each person in the club has a job,” says Eddie Verdecanna, founder of the Italian Culture Club, along with CJ Carlig. In addition to CJ, Eddie recognizes two others as chief contributors—Mark Arico and Donise Hardy—to the sausage-making operation.

How long have you been making sausage?

“The club’s been around for eight years,” says Eddie, “but the sausage making has been around for four years. The first time we made it, it didn’t come out that well. It was dry. The second time it was a little better. But the last time, everybody came back for more.”

“My folks are from Italy,” adds CJ. “I learned to make Italian sausage because my folks, when they came over on the boat, that’s what they did—they made their own sausage. As a matter of fact, we had a grinder that we attached to the table. When I was a little guy, maybe five years old, I was in charge of hand-grinding the sausage. We’ve tried to carry on the tradition as much as we can.”

How much sausage do you make?

“This year we started with 185 pounds gross, and we’re going to end up with 165 pounds of Italian sausage, once it’s cooked,” says Eddie. “We always make it right before the holidays, usually in November.”

Do you mind sharing your sausage recipe?


Print Recipe
Mark Arico’s Mild Anise Sausage
“We use natural pig intestines for casing. None of that synthetic stuff!” Donise advises. “Make sure the casing is thoroughly washed inside and out in warm water. Then soak it in warm water and lemon juice. For hot sausage, substitute anise seeds with red pepper flakes to taste.”


  • 25 lbs lean Boston pork butt ground
  • 3 oz anise seeds
  • 4 oz sea salt or table salt
  • Tbsp black pepper coarse ground
  • 1 heaping Tbsp garlic powder
  • 1 heaping Tbsp leaves of fresh basil
  • 4 oz sugar
  • 8 oz sweet red wine used to help the grinder—water works, too


  1. Cut the meat. Season and grind the meat. Then attach the sausage to the sausage press. Stuff and then tie the sausage.

By Rachel Brownlow
Photos by Tina Lopez

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