Yields 10 slices
1 package (10 ounce) frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
1 egg, beaten
½ cup slivered almonds, toasted
¼ cup dry bread crumbs
2 tablespoons minced parsley
1 tablespoon onion soup mix
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon dried thyme, divided
1 teaspoon pepper
½ pound bulk Italian sausage
1 boneless pork loin roast (about 3 pounds)
1 tablespoon olive oil
1. In a large bowl, combine ½ cup spinach, egg, almonds, bread crumbs, parsley, soup mix, garlic, ½ teaspoon of the thyme, and the pepper.
2. Crumble sausage over mixture and mix well. (Save the remaining spinach for another use.)
3. Make a lengthwise slit down the center of the roast to within ½ inch of the bottom.
4. Open roast so it lies flat; cover with plastic wrap. Pound until slightly flattened. Spread sausage mixture over meat.
5. Roll and close with kitchen string; secure the ends with toothpicks.
6. Place fat side up on a rack in a shallow roasting pan. Brush with oil; sprinkle with remaining thyme.
7. Bake, uncovered, 350 degree F for 2 to 2 ½ hours or until a meat thermometer inserted into roast and sausage mixture reads 160 degrees.
8. Let stand for 10 to 15 minutes. Remove string and toothpicks before slicing.
I usually serve this with Fennel-Potato Au Gratin. I got both recipes from the holiday edition of Taste of Home magazine. They are great recipes and are very pleasing to guests after all the turkey and ham from the holidays. Larry also made a “large group” version of this specifically for a Christmas meal at our church. It has special holiday-time seasoning, and looks very festive when sliced for serving. You can find the recipe here.