These stuffed mushrooms are easy and can be made way ahead. You can make them with sweet or spicy sausage depending on your taste. Depending on the size of your mushrooms, you might end up with extra stuffing. No problem! Roll up the stuffing into little balls and freeze. Next time you have some impromptu guests, pop them in the mushrooms and bake away! —Anna Francese Gass
8 to 10 as an appetizer
3 1/2 pounds
large cremini or button mushrooms, stems removed and reserved
Italian pork sausage (spicy or sweet), casings removed
In a large saucepan, add 3 cups of cold water. Bring water to a boil and add sausage links and parboil them for 5 minutes. Drain and grind sausage in a food processor for a few minutes, just until sausage is crumbled. Empty into a large bowl.
In a large sauté pan, melt butter and olive oil over medium heat. Add celery, onion, parsley, salt, pepper and reserved mushroom stems. Saute until vegetables have softened and onions are translucent, about 5 to 7 minutes.
While vegetables are cooking, empty two sleeves of Ritz crackers (approx 2 cups) into the food processor and grind to fine crumbs. Add cooked vegetables to the processor and pulse into a chunky paste.
Add cracker/veg mixture to bowl with sausage and mix until fully incorporated. Set aside and prepare mushroom tops.
Place mushroom tops upside down on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and drizzled with olive oil. Sprinkle the tops with kosher salt.
Add a tablespoon of stuffing to each mushroom. Drizzle the filled mushroom with extra virgin olive oil.
Bake for 30 to 35 minutes until filing is golden brown and mushroom is soft to the touch.