Stuffing with Ciabatta, Pancetta and Apples

By • November 6, 2009 5 Comments

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Author Notes: Seeking a stuffing with Italian ingredients (I have a deep affection for pancetta), I developed a concept. Then I Googled it and realized that Giada DeLaurentiis beat me to it. Isn't that the way! So, I adapted her recipe by adding an apple, sage, thyme, and a hint of cinnamon for a sweet, subtle kick and to balance the salty pancetta. I also substituted shallot for onion to complement the apple's sweetness. This flavorful stuffing is an excellent mate to Thanksgiving turkey, roasted chicken or even beef tenderloin. Feel free to ad lib on the bread -- sourdough or focaccia come to mind. mariaraynal


Serves 8-10

  • 6 tablespoons butter
  • 8 ounces pancetta, cut into 1/4-inch dice (freeze for 10-15 minutes before for easy slicing)
  • 2 cups shallots, sliced
  • 2 carrots, peeled and finely chopped
  • 3 celery stalks, finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt, or to taste
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh sage
  • 3 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 honeycrisp apple, diced (or apple of your choice)
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 2 cups wild mushrooms, finely chopped (I used baby bellas)
  • 1 pound day-old ciabatta, cut into 3/4-inch cubes
  • 2/3 cup freshly grated parmigiano-reggiano
  • 1 cup (or more) chicken stock, preferably homemade
  • 2 large eggs, beaten
  1. Preheat oven to 350. Butter a 15 x 10 x 2-inch glass baking dish. Melt 2 tablespoons of butter in a large, heavy skillet over medium flame.
  2. Add the pancetta and saute about 10-12 minutes, until crisp. Transfer pancetta to large bowl with a slotted spoon.
  3. Melt remaining butter in the skillet and add the shallot, carrots, celery, salt and pepper. Turn heat up to medium-high. After a few minutes, add the mushrooms, rosemary, thyme, sage and garlic.
  4. Sprinkle cinnamon on the chopped apple and add to the pan. Saute until the shallots are tender, at least 12 minutes. Stir gently occasionally.
  5. Transfer the onion mixture to bowl with pancetta, stir to incorporate.
  6. Add the ciabatta and parmesan and toss. Pour in enough stock to lightly coat the bread, then mix in the eggs.
  7. Combine thoroughly, then transfer stuffing to buttered dish. Cover with buttered foil, buttered side down, then bake for about 30 minutes. Uncover and continue to bake about 15 minutes, until stuffing is crisp and golden.

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