It can be hard to find good Italian sausage. Usually the mild will have added sweetener and no kick whatsoever and the spicy is so hot the kids cant eat it. I love being able to make my own and use it in Italian dishes or crumbled on top of homemade sourdough pizza. Its also great crumbled in omelets or on top of salads. You can control the fat content, because sausage is usually a very high percentage fat. You can also control the source of meat. Its easier to find pasture raised ground pork or grass fed ground beef than the equivalent in sausage form. And its way cheaper to make and only takes a few minutes.
1 lb ground meat (usually its pork, but ive used beef , chicken, and turkey before too)
1 Tbs red wine vinegar
1 1/2 tsp parsley
1 tsp each salt, garlic powder, onion, basil
3/4 tsp each pepper, paprika
1/4 tsp fennel
1/8 tsp each oregano, thyme
1/4-1 tsp red pepper flakes, depending on desired spice level.
Place all spices in a spice grinder (small food processer like a magic bullet or a coffee grinder). Add ground meat and vinegar to a bowl with the spice and combine well with your hands. Let it sit, covered, in the refrigerator overnight before using in your favorite recipe.