UPDATE!: Congratulations to our winner, Marilyn, who snapped up the signed copy of Ina Garten’s “Barefoot Contessa How Easy Is That?” Way to go, Marilyn! And thanks to everyone who entered.
No one does party food better than Ina Garten. She’s the Picasso of Puff Pastry.
So, when I saw these Sausage-Stuffed Mushrooms in her new cookbook, “Barefoot Contessa How Easy Is That?,” I knew I had to try them. Sweet Italian sausage mixed with chopped mushroom, scallions, garlic, panko, mascarpone, Parmesan and parsley, stuffed inside extra-large mushrooms, and baked until the stuffing is browned and has a nice crust on top.
They’re absolutely scrumptious and so easy to make, you might never look at a grocery-wrapped cheese ball again.
You start by gently tossing the mushrooms in olive oil and Marsala, so the mushrooms can absorb those flavors while you’re making the stuffing.
For the stuffing, everything goes into one skillet once you’ve browned the sausage. Most stuffing recipes call for cubes of bread, but this one has crispy panko crumbs for a little crunch. The other twist is the mascarpone, an extremely creamy cheese used here to bind everything together and add a little tang. (If you can’t find mascarpone, use cream cheese. It’ll be our secret.)
Before you start filling the mushrooms, be sure to taste the stuffing. Since the sausage is cooked, it’s completely safe. You want to make sure the stuffing is well seasoned so that it counters the blandness of the mushrooms.
When the mushrooms come out of the oven, they’re warm and spicy, with just the right amount of crunch on top.
If you make these for a party, be sure to taste one (or two) before you head out. You might not have another chance!
Now, let’s celebrate the return of holiday party food with a Barefoot Contessa Giveaway!
One (1) SIGNED copy of Ina Garten’s “Barefoot Contessa How Easy Is That?”
Go to the Comments section (at the bottom of this post), and answer the question:
If the Barefoot Contessa were coming to a party at your house, what would you serve?
Here are the rules:
1. One entry per person.
2. Enter by 2 p.m. CST on Wednesday, Dec. 8.
3. The winner will be chosen randomly using Random.org.
Good luck, everyone! Can’t wait to read your answers.
Slightly adapted from Ina Garten’s “Barefoot Contessa How Easy Is That?”
Makes 16 servings
- 16 extra-large white mushrooms
- 5 tablespoons olive oil, divided
- 2 1/2 tablespoons Marsala wine or sherry
- 3/4 pound sweet or hot Italian sausage, removed from the casings (regular or gluten-free)
- 6 scallions, white and green parts, minced
- 2 garlic cloves minced
- 2/3 cup panko crumbs (regular or gluten-free)
- 5 ounces mascarpone cheese, preferably Italian (can substitute with cream cheese)
- 1/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan
- 2 1/2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley leaves
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.
- Remove the stems from the mushrooms, and chop them finely. Set aside.
- Place the mushroom caps in a shallow bowl, and toss with 3 tablespoons of the olive oil and Marsala. Set aside.
- Heat the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil in a medium skillet over medium heat. Add the sausage, crumbling it with the back of a wooden spoon. Cook the sausage for 8 to 10 minutes, stirring frequently, until it’s completely browned.
- Add the chopped mushroom stems, and cook for 3 more minutes.
- Stir in the scallions and garlic. Cook for another 2 to 3 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Add the panko crumbs, stirring to combine evenly with all the other ingredients.
- Stir in the mascarpone. Continue cooking until the mascarpone has melted and made the sausage mixture creamy.
- Take the pan off the heat, and stir in the Parmesan and parsley. Season the mixture with salt and pepper, to taste. Cool slightly.
- Arrange the mushrooms in a baking dish large enough to hold all the mushrooms in a snug single layer. Pour any remaining olive oil and Marsala from the soaking dish onto the mushrooms. Fill each mushroom generously with the sausage mixture. Bake the stuffing for about 50 minutes, until it’s browned and crusty.
Gluten-Free Tip: Be sure to use GF Italian sausage and panko.
Nutritional Information (per serving) – PP+ = 5