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I have always loved hosting gatherings at our home and serving up tons of delicious food!! We frequently have people over and I find myself making the same things over and over again.  I wanted to do a stuffed mushroom appetizer, but most of the recipes I’ve found were stuffed with spinach or crab.  Rob is not a big fan of spinach and he’s allergic to shellfish.  So what to make?

I happened to be watching Barefoot Contessa – Ina Garten on Food Network and she was making stuffed mushrooms stuffed with Italian sausage.  Hmmm – something a little different!!  I was salivating by the time she was done making them and knew I had to try them!!  I gave them a whirl and they were a tremendous hit!!!  They are never around very long at any of our parties and Rob loves that he can enjoy another delicious appetizer on the menu!!’

The Japanese style (Panko) bread crumbs give it a nice texture and the mascarpone cheese make it deliciously creamy.    Paired with a sweet Italian sausage, it is a rich and delicious combination that is perfect for a Fall or Winter gathering!

Sausage Stuffed Mushrooms

Sausage Stuffed Mushrooms

16 extra large white mushrooms (stuffer mushrooms)
5 Tbsp. olive oil
2 1/2 Tbsp. Marsala wine
1/2 onion finely chopped
1 lb. sweet Italian sausage (ground or removed from casings)
2 garlic cloves, minced
2/3 cup Japanese style bread crumbs (Panko)
5 oz. Mascarpone cheese
1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
2 1/2 Tbsp. dried parsley
Salt, Pepper, Garlic Powder, Onion Powder to taste

1)  Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.
2)  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.
3)  Heat the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil in a medium skillet over medium heat. Add onions and sauté about 4-6 minutes.  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.
4)  Add the panko crumbs, stirring to combine evenly with all the other ingredients.
5)  Turn off heat and swirl in the mascarpone.  Continue stirring until the mascarpone has melted and made the sausage mixture creamy.  Add the Parmesan, parsley, and season with salt, pepper, garlic powder, and onion powder to taste.
6)  Allow mixture to cool slightly so you can handle it.
7)  Fill each mushroom generously with the sausage mixture.  Arrange the mushrooms in a baking dish large enough to hold all the mushrooms in a snug single layer. Bake until the stuffing for 45-50 minutes, until the stuffing is browned and crusty and mushrooms are cooked through.

Recipe from The Barefoot Contessa, Ina Garten

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