If you like to entertain and you choose one recipe on my blog to use, USE THIS ONE. These mushrooms are packed with spicy, rich flavor, and they are very simple to make! This is even the perfect potluck appetizer because they travel well too – I’d suggest prepping them and taking them to a party uncooked – just pop them in the oven at the host’s home, and they’ll be hot and fresh for the guests!
I have modified Ina Garten’s recipe a bit here because sometimes there are little things you can do to a dish that actually make a huge difference without changing the very essence of it.
For example, I use baby bella mushrooms instead of white mushrooms. Why? A deeper flavor! I also season the mushrooms with salt and pepper after marinating them in Marsala. Emeril Lagasse always told me (well, I guess not me specifically lol…) to never miss an opportunity to season!
*p.s. Marsala can be found in the “cooking wine” section of the grocery store, but do NOT buy it there. Go to the wine section, and buy the real version. This matters. Things labeled “cooking wine” often taste too sweet and too processed – sound appetizing? Nope. Plus, you’ll get good use out of your bottle of the legit stuff (see Alton Brown’s Chicken Marsala recipe) or my truffled lobster bisque.
I also alter the filling by using spicy sausage instead of sweet because who doesn’t want a little spice in their life! Again, like Emeril says, kick it up a notch!!
Once you’ve mixed all of your delicious add-ins with the sausage, you will add the most fantastic ingredient of them all – MASCARPONE. If you’ve never worked with mascarpone, it is basically cream cheese’s fancier, more expensive, Italian cousin. It is worth every cent, don’t you dare substitute it out (okay, I guess you could, but please try it at least once in life… it’s everything).
That’s where the filling gets its velvety texture. Finally, stuff those marinated, seasoned ‘shrooms!
So once these are baked and ready, you can either serve them to your friends at a social function or… prop yourself up in bed with a big glass of red wine and consume nearly the entire tray on your own while watching The Bachelor. I mean, whatevs.
Spicy Sausage-Stuffed Mushrooms
This recipe is inspired by Ina Garten’s Sausage-Stuffed Mushrooms, which can be found here: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/ina-garten/sausage-stuffed-mushrooms-recipe-1948909
20-25 whole baby bella mushrooms
8 tbs olive oil
2 1/2 tbs Marsala wine
1 lb spicy Italian sausage, removed from casings
6 scallions, minced
2 cloves garlic, minced
2/3 cup panko crumbs
8 oz mascarpone cheese
1/3 cup freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano
2 1/2 tbs fresh parsley, minced
Freshly cracked black pepper
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Remove stems from mushroom caps, and chop the stems up. Set them and the caps aside.
- In a large bowl, combine 5 tbs olive oil and the Marsala wine. Toss the caps in the mixture, then season with salt and pepper. Set aside.
- Heat 3 tbs olive oil in a medium skillet over medium high heat, then add the sausage and cook until browned (8-10 minutes), breaking it up into the smallest pieces possible (note: try to purchase uncased Italian sausage, it will be easier to break up).
- Add the chopped mushroom stems to the sausage, and cook for 3 minutes. Add the scallions and minced garlic, and cook for 3 more minutes. Add the panko crumbs, and stir to combine.
- Stir in the mascarpone, and cook until the mixture is completely combined and creamy.
- Remove the mixture from the heat, and add the parsley and Parmigiano Reggiano. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
- Fill each of the marinated mushroom caps with a generous portion of sausage mixture, and line up the caps on a large baking sheet. Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until the stuffing has browned and crisped a bit.