Sausage-Stuffed Mushrooms

Recipe by Nancy Johnson; Wine Commentary by Gary Twining.

During the holidays, most grocery stores carry large mushrooms for stuffing. This recipe is super flexible. Add whatever you’d like to the stuffing ingredients and increase the stuffing amount and the number of mushrooms depending on how many people will be at your holiday table.

1 TBS extra virgin olive oil

12 to 15 large white mushrooms, cleaned

Extra-virgin olive oil

1/2 pound sweet or hot Italian sausage meat

2 cloves garlic, minced

1/4 cup Italian seasoned bread crumbs

1 TBS fresh parsley, minced

3 TBS grated Parmigiana Reggiano

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

Cover baking sheet with parchment paper. Remove stems from mushrooms, finely chop stems and set aside.

Place mushroom caps on baking sheet, drizzle with olive oil and bake 15-20 minutes or until softened and nearly cooked through, turning once.

Meanwhile, in a medium skillet, sauté sausage meat and reserved mushroom stems until cooked through. Add garlic, sauté 1 minute or until garlic is softened. Stir in bread crumbs and parsley. Sauté 1 minute. Drain off grease.

Fill each mushroom cap with a tablespoon or two of sausage mixture, depending on mushroom cap’s size.  Sprinkle with Parmigiana Reggiano. Return to oven and bake 15-20 minutes or until stuffing is browned.  Serves 6.

Gary: The earthiness of the seasonings, sausage and mushrooms call for a red with bright flavors to stand up to these factors and set them off. From Italy look for Barbera for its firm acidity and bright flavors. A quality Chianti is also an appropriate choice, as would be a Montepulciano d’Abruzzo. A lighter Zinfandel would be very enjoyable, and here is an ideal opportunity to offer a dry rosé.

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