Tuesday, February 07, 2012


Mascarpone is kind of an interesting cheese.  Cheese aren't typically thought of as "sweets" although the traditional cheese plate is served as a dessert. 

And yet, it is ridiculously difficult to find a savory recipe using mascarpone.  I originally bought it to make the Shells with Sausage, Beans and Mascarpone.  And in my new quest to make use of those ingredients I buy, (which is going really well by the way.  It's nice not having a refrigerator crammed to the gills with different things) I tried to find something to make with the remainder.

I could have taken the easy way out and used it to make tiramisu, frosting, or some other sweet dessert.  But now that I'm not in training for a half marathon, there are far less desserts going on in Thathouse. 

I was able to stumble upon an Ina Garten recipe that seemed like the perfect use for my cheese - mushroom caps stuffed with sausage, mascarpone, and panko.  These would be an excellent appetizer if you're entertaining.  The panko makes the stuffing nice and crispy and the spice of the sausage perfectly complements the sweetness of the cheese.

But instead of serving these as an appetizer, Thatboy and I made a whole meal out of them.  We've been known to do that sometimes.  With a nice glass of wine, a plateful of stuffed mushrooms is a delightful way to spend the evening.
Sausage Stuffed Mushrooms (From Ina Garten)
16 extra-large white mushrooms
5 tablespoons good olive oil, divided
2 1/2 tablespoons Marsala wine or medium sherry
3/4 pound sweet Italian sausage, removed from the casings
6 scallions, white and green parts, minced
2 garlic cloves minced
2/3 cup panko crumbs
5 ounces mascarpone cheese, preferably from Italy
1/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan
2 1/2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley leaves
Salt and freshly ground black pepper 
  1. Preheat the oven to 325 degree. 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.
  2.  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. 
  3. Add the chopped mushroom stems and cook for 3 more minutes. 
  4. Stir in the scallions and garlic and cook for another 2 to 3 minutes, stirring occasionally. 
  5. Add the panko crumbs, stirring to combine evenly with all the other ingredients. 
  6. Finally, swirl in the mascarpone and continue cooking until the mascarpone has melted and made the sausage mixture creamy. 
  7. Off the heat, stir in the Parmesan, parsley, and season with salt and pepper, to taste, Cool slightly.
  8. 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 50 minutes, until the stuffing is browned and crusty.


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  2. I almost always make a whole meal out of appetizers...after all, who else is going to appetize on them with me? Plus, stuffing this tasty...couldn't have just one.

  3. I think next week I may have to make a pile of stuffed mushrooms as an entree. And I never considered using macarpone in them.