1poundsweet Italian sausage, removed from the casings
1small red onion, diced
1small red pepper, seeds removed and diced
3garlic cloves minced
2/3cupItalian bread crumbs
4ouncesricotta cheese, store bought or homemade
1/2cupfreshly grated Parmesan
2tablespoonsminced fresh parsley leaves
8slicesof 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!