Copious amounts of breadcrumbs are traditionally called for in this appetizer favorite, but I don’t use them all in this version. It actually ends up with a more moist filling because of it and allows the bite of the Pecorino to really shine.
- 1 large package whole mushrooms (20-24, washed and stemmed – set stems aside)
- 1 pound ground sweet sausage or breakfast sausage
- 1/2 cup shredded Pecorino cheese
- 1 teaspoon dried sage
- 2 teaspoon dried oregano
- Light olive oil or grapeseed oil, for frying
- Roughly chop the mushroom stems and place in a medium size skillet with the sausage. Cook over medium heat, making sure to thoroughly crumble the sausage apart with a wooden spoon or spatula as it cooks. Drain the fat thoroughly, then blot the sausage mixture with paper towels before transferring to a large mixing bowl.
- Pre-heat the oven to 325°F.
- Using the same skillet, place it over medium heat and pour in enough oil to cover the bottom of the pan. Take the mushroom caps and sauté them on both sides until lightly browned. This may have to be done in batches if all the caps don’t fit into the pan at one time. While the mushrooms are browning, add the cheese and herbs to the sausage and mix thoroughly.
- When the mushroom caps have browned, place in a rectangular baking pan that has been coated with nonstick cooking spray. Using a spoon, fill each cap with the sausage and cheese mixture. If there is any leftover, refrigerate in an airtight container – it makes a fantastic omelet filling!
- Bake the mushrooms at 325°F for 20 minutes. Serve immediately.
Photo credit: Stacey Morris