It’s the combination of chocolate and pig’s blood that is the base of sanguinaccio, with variations of nuts and fruits around Italy. Mic’s recipe is based on his grandmother’s and takes him back to his childhood when the blood sausage was made each year at the family celebration of breaking down a pig. Fresh pig’s blood is very hard to get hold of and may be replaced with dried blood. 






Skill level

Average: 3.3 (21 votes)


  • hog casings (middle)
  • 160 g (1 cup) sultanas
  • 250 ml (1 cup) marsala (sweet wine)
  • 1.5 litres fresh pig’s blood (see Note)
  • 1.2 litres whole milk
  • 155 g (1 cup) pine nuts
  • 100 g (1 cup) cocoa
  • ¾ cup white sugar
  • 200 g (3 cups) breadcrumbs (yesterday’s bread is better)

Cook's notes

Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.


If using salted or dried hog casings, remove from packet and rinse through with plenty of cold fresh water. Set aside.

Soak the sultanas in half of the marsala for at least 1 hour.

If the pig’s blood is really fresh and still warm, it must be whisked as it cools to stop the clots. If any form, strain out with a sieve.

In a large bowl, pour in the pig’s blood. Add the sultanas, remaining marsala, milk, pine nuts, cocoa, sugar and finally the breadcrumbs. Mix well together. Tie off one end of the casing. Ladle or funnel blood sausage mixture into your natural casings and tie off with butcher’s string. Make sure you leave a few centimetres at the top to allow for the mixture to swell.

Place the sausages into a large saucepan of cold water and heat over a low heat, bringing up gently to a simmer, allowing the sausages to poach. Once the sausages are cooked, they will float to the surface after approximately 20 minutes on a gentle simmer.

Once cooked, remove from the pan and immediately immerse in cold water for a few minutes. Take out and allow to dry and cool. They will last for a week in the fridge if well wrapped. 


• Very fresh pig’s blood can be hard to find; ask for it at your local butcher.