I decided not to form the links during stuffing, which may have been a mistake. When I twisted the links at the end of the process, a couple of them ended up bursting open...
Next time I will try forming them as I go.
When I make sausage, I stuff it rather loosely. Then I lay the tube out on the counter and gently even out the meat in the casing. A needle is handy to pierce air bubbles. I pinch and twist to make the links. With a looser packing, there's always plenty of room to apportion and twist the links. Make sense? The pinch-and-twist action will tighten the meat in the casing to form firm sausages.
I just use piment d'espelette in recipes that call for cayenne. I find the flavor more nuanced and interesting.
It's excellent in the Basque dish piperade (bell peppers, onions, and tomatoes).
I always think of piment d'espelette as a Basque product. I have a small jar of it in my cabinet, and I should check out more Basque recipes. If you're ever in the Bay Area, the Spanish Table stores sell piment d'espelette. They also sell by mail order. Though when I think of it, I would rather go to Paris to shop for piment d'espelette--or anything else, for that matter.