When it comes to mushrooms, I’m kind of on the fence. I mean, they’re fiiiine. I don’t hate the guys. Sometimes – like when they’re salty and fried and hanging out atop a big cheesy burger – they’re even delicious! But for the most part, I wouldn’t go out of my way to get them in my belly. And truth be told, they rarely see the inside of my shopping cart. They just lack that “BUY ME; COOK ME; EAT ME NOW” pizazz. Ya feel me?
Buuuut! That all changed with these mushrooms. THESE mushrooms. Gah! With their creamy (thank you very much ricotta cheese!) Italian sausage and pepper stuffing. I have never met a mushroom I loved more! I
blame thank the top coat of provolone that rests gorgeous and gooey on these MEGA stuffed caps for that. How can one resist loving a sheet of melted cheese? HOW I say?
These make fabulous finger food for parties/ dinners/ etc. But can I tell you the truth? They also make the best dinner for one. That’s right! Add a few episodes of (insert your favorite show here) and a few glasses of (insert you favorite beverage here), and you’re off to a dreamy evening.
You’re welcome 😉
Happy weekend, friends! I may just see you with a cocktail before Monday. Fingers crossed! xoxo
Italian Sausage & Peppers Stuffed Mushrooms
- 16 extra-large white stuffing mushrooms
- 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
- 2 tablespoons Sherry cooking wine
- 1 pound sweet Italian sausage, removed from the casings
- 1 small red onion, diced
- 1 small red pepper, seeds removed and diced
- 3 garlic cloves minced
- 2/3 cup Italian bread crumbs
- 4 ounces ricotta cheese, store bought or homemade
- 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan
- 2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley leaves
- 8 slices of provolone, cut into 4 per slice
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
- Preheat the oven to 325 degrees (F).
- Thoroughly wash and scrub mushrooms. Remove the stems from the mushrooms and using a small mellon baller gently scoop out the inner rim of the mushroom, going about 2/3s deep, and being careful not to break through the bottoms of the mushrooms; set aside. Place the mushroom caps in a medium-sized bowl and toss with 2 tablespoons of the olive oil and the sherry; set aside.
- Heat the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a large skillet over medium-heat. Add the sausage, crumbling it and breaking it up as much as possible using the back of a wooden spoon. Cook the sausage for 8 - 10 minutes - stirring frequently - until it's completely browned. Use a slotted spoon to remove the sausage from the pan and transfer it to a clean plate; set aside.
- Add the chopped onion and pepper; cook stirring occasionally for 5-6 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for another minute. Add the bread crumbs, stirring to combine evenly with all the other ingredients. Finally, stir in the ricotta and continue cooking until the cheese has melted and made the mixture creamy. Remove pan from heat, stir in the Parmesan, parsley, and season with salt and pepper, to taste.
- Fill each mushroom generously with the sausage mixture. Carefully arrange the mushrooms in a baking dish just large enough to hold all the mushrooms in a cozy single layer; it's ok for them to be touching. Bake for 50 minutes, or until the stuffing is browned and crusty. Carefully remove pan from the oven.
- Add 2 wedges of the provolone to the top of each mushroom, then place the pan back in the oven for 5-6 minutes, or until the cheese has melted and begun to bubble. Serve at once!