24 medium mushrooms
1 pound Italian sausage, removed from casing
4T olive oil
1 small onion, finely chopped
½ red pepper, finely chopped
3 cloves garlic
½ cup ricotta
½ cup panko crumbs
½ cup Pecorino Romano
3T parsley, finely chopped
1T thyme, finely chopped
salt & pepper
1. Preheat the oven to 400° F.
2. With a damp towel or vegetable brush, gently wipe the mushrooms to remove any dirt. Remove the dead ends from the stems. Using a melon ball scoop, remove the stems.
3. Carefully scoop out a little of the cap to make a bigger opening. Chop the stems and caps bits into a fine dice. Set aside.
4. In a medium sauté pan over medium high-heat, add 2 tablespoons of the olive oil; when warm, add the sausage. Using a wooden spoon, break the sausage into pieces.
5. Cook the sausage 8-10 minutes while stirring and continuing to break into small pieces. When browned, remove with a spotted spoon and place in a medium bowl.
6. If needed, add the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil to the pan (you may have enough oil left from cooking the sausage); add the chopped mushroom, onions, and peppers and cook until soft, about 4- 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook another minute.
7. Remove from the heat and stir in the ricotta until it is melted and mixture is creamy. Add to the cooked sausage.
8. Add the panko, cheese, parsley and thyme, and stir until combined. Season with salt and pepper.
9. Place a generous tablespoon of the sausage mixture into each of the mushroom caps. Place on a baking sheet. Bake in a 400° F oven until mushrooms are slightly soft and browned, about 10-15 minutes.
10. Transfer to serving platter and let cool slightly. Serve warm.
TIPS & TRICKS
• Because mushrooms have a high water content you never want to submerge them in water. Just brush or wipe them off with a mushroom brush or clean kitchen towel.
• The mushrooms are best served warm. If too hot you could burn your mouth.
• You can prepare the whole recipe a day ahead. Either fill the mushroom caps and place on baking sheet. Then cover with a piece of parchment paper and plastic wrap. (remove paper/plastic before cooking) OR store the filling in a container and place the mushrooms is a clean kitchen towel then in a plastic bag, so they don’t dry out. Fill the mushroom and bake before serving.
• They reheat beautifully