Stuffed Mushroom Caps

 

With Christmas only a few weeks away, the month of December is full of celebrations. We’re always entertaining or going to someone else’s house to be entertained with an appy or treats to share. I love appetizers and would eat most of my meals this way if I could. One of my favourites has always been stuffed mushrooms. I have a few variations that I’ve made in the past, usually seafood or veggie based, but this time I decided to play around with a meatier version and used italian sausage. I used the mild variety but you could use hot italian sausage if you like things a bit spicier.

Most of the time I like having my kids help me in the kitchen, but if I’m playing around with a new recipe idea I like to work on it when my kids are at school. It makes it a bit easier to focus on what I’m doing. Let’s face it, this whole baby brain thing doesn’t seem to ever fully go away. If I don’t act on a thought quickly, it could be lost forever. For this recipe that meant I had to uncork a bottle of red at 10:30 am since my daughter gets home from preschool at 11:30. I’m not shy around wine (obviously, given the name of my blog), but it did feel really weird opening a bottle of red wine that early in the day. Maybe it’s just that it felt odd to cook with it while not being able to drink it. In any case it might be time to change things a bit and start cooking later in the day.

Mushroom caps with italian sausage stuffing

 

24 mushrooms, stems removed

1 lbs Italian sausage

1 Cup onion, diced small

2 garlic cloves, minced

1 Cup fennel, diced small

1/2 Cup red wine

1/2 Cup roasted red peppers, diced

1/4 – 1/2 Cup bread crumbs

1/4 Cup fresh parsley, chopped

1/4 Cup fresh basil, chopped

1/2 Cup parmesan cheese

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Farenheit.

In a large skillet heat 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil. Remove the sausage from the casing and add it to the skillet with the onions, garlic and fennel. Continue cooking, breaking the sausage up as you go, until the sausage is cooked through and the vegetables have softened. Stir in the roasted red peppers and then add in the wine, scraping up any brown bits on the bottom of the pan. Simmer for a minute or two. Mix in the breadcrumbs a little at a time until any liquid is absorbed. Gently toss in the parsley and basil.

Italian sausage stuffing for mushroom caps

Fill the mushroom caps with the sausage mixture and place on a baking sheet. Top each cap with some parmesan cheese and bake for 15 – 20 minutes.

 

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