- 1 pound sweet Italian sausage, casing discarded
- One-half stick (4 tablespoons) unsalted butter
- 2 medium-sized yellow onion, finely chopped
- One and one-half pounds fennel bulbs finely chopped (about four and one-half cups)
- 2 teaspoons fennel seeds, finely chopped
- One-fourth cup Pernod
- 2 teaspoons dried thyme
- 2 teaspoons dried sage
- 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- One-half cup pine nuts
- 5 cups crumbled corn bread
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
- In a large heavy skillet, cook the sausage over medium-high heat, stirring and breaking up the lumps with a fork, until the pink disappears. Transfer the sausage with a slotted spoon to a large bowl.
- Add the butter to the fat in the skillet. Add the onions, chopped fennel and fennel seeds over medium heat, and cook, stirring, until the fennel is softened, about 10 minutes. Add the Pernod, thyme, sage, garlic and pine nuts and cook, stirring, until most of the liquid is evaporated. Add the mixture to the sausage, add the corn bread and toss to mix well. Season the stuffing with salt and pepper to taste and cool completely. Stuffing may be made 2 days ahead and chilled, covered. To prevent bacterial growth, do not stuff the turkey until it is ready to go into the oven.