Italian Wurst Burgers

It’s a Thursday Two-fer! Two burger recipes in one day. This one is a riff on a family recipe for ravioli stuffed with a mixture using German Bockwurst (what my family called “box sausage” because it was purchased at the market in boxes). It makes a great hamburger, especially when served on good Italian bread, drenched in a quick no-cook marinara, and topped with dressed spinach and a blizzard of Parmesan!

Italian Wurst Burgers

You’ll need some thickly cut slices of good Italian bread (or 6 hamburger buns).

For the Fresh Tomato Marinara:
1 pint fresh cherry or grape tomatoes or an assortment of mini heirlooms
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/4 cup white wine
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1/8 teaspoon red pepper flakes*
1/2 teaspoon salt
Blend all together in food processor or blender and set aside

*for a spicier marinara, add another pinch of red pepper flakes, or shake in some Hot Sauce! or Dragon Cayenne Ketchup.

For Spinach:
1 1/2 cups fresh baby spinach
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon white pepper
whisk vinegar, olive oil, salt and pepper together and toss with spinach

For Bockwurst Burger Mix:
3/4 pound ground chuck 80/20
1/4 pound ground pork
1/4 pound ground veal
2 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons ground white pepper
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 teaspoon ground mace
1/4 cup chopped chives
1/4 cup chopped parsley
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese (1/4 cup to add to meat mixture, 1/4 cup reserved for plating)

Mix and form 6 patties. Preheat grill to medium high heat (about 400 degrees Fahrenheit). Grill burgers for 4 minutes each side, or until internal temperature reads 160 degrees Fahrenheit. Remove from grill to a plate and set aside.

Grill Italian bread over medium heat for 2-3 minutes, or until lightly toasted.

Assemble burger:
Place Burger on bottom of bun, top with marinara, grated Parmesan and spinach salad. Place top bun on and serve.

Note: If you wish a texture more like a traditional German Bockwurst, add 2 to 3 tablespoons of cream or half and half to your meat mixture and blend in a food processor until you get the texture you want. This mixture can also be used to fill ravioli or stuff pasta shells!

You may substitute ground chicken or turkey or a combination of the two for the beef, pork and veal in the recipe. The flavor and texture will be different but they will still be delicious!