Every year for the past I don’t know how many years, we’ve hosted a New Year’s Day Pajama Party. Friends would come over dressed in pajamas around 11, and we’d just lounge around eating brunch treats or a bevvy of appetizers. I like to call the menu Fresh Start since, you know, it’s a bunch of starters to celebrate the start of a new year.
This year, we’re not hosting our New Year’s Day Pajama Party. I’m having mixed feelings about this decision lately, so to pay homage to our tradition, I’m sharing an appetizer you can make for your New Year’s Eve parties or your New Year’s Day parties. Be sure to read the bottom of the post for MAKE AHEAD, MAKE IT VEGETARIAN, and MAKE IT LATER ideas too!
- 20 extra-large white mushrooms
- 5 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
- 2 1/2 tablespoons Marsala wine
- 3/4 pound ground sweet Italian sausage
- 6 scallions, white and green parts, minced
- 2 garlic cloves minced
- 2/3 cup Panko breadcrumbs
- 5 ounces mascarpone cheese
- 1/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
- 2 1/2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley leaves
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.
2. Remove the stems from the mushrooms. I’ve found an easy way to do this is to take a small spoon and gently perforate the sides around the little mushroom caps and them pop them out.
3. Set the hollowed out mushroom caps aside and then finely chop the mushroom stems into itty bitty pieces.
4. Place the chopped mushroom stems in a shallow bowl and toss with 3 tablespoons of the olive oil and Marsala. Set aside.
5. 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.
6. Add the chopped mushroom stems and cook for 3 more minutes.
7. Stir in the scallions and garlic and cook for another 2 to 3 minutes, stirring occasionally.
8. Add the Panko crumbs and stir to combine evenly with all the other ingredients.
9. Gently add in the mascarpone and continue cooking until the mascarpone has melted and made the sausage mixture creamy.
10. Take the pan off the heat, then stir in the Parmesan, parsley, and season with salt and pepper, to taste. Cool slightly.
11. Fill each mushroom generously with the sausage mixture. (Note: You may have extra stuffing, so see the bottom of the post for MAKE LATER ideas!). Arrange the mushrooms in either a baking dish, or you can do what I do and place them on a Silpat baking sheet. If you don’t have a Silpat a) get one (especially if you bake! I use mine almost everyday!), or b) place on a greased baking sheet.
12. Bake for 50 minutes, until the stuffing is browned and crusty. You want the mushrooms to be softer, but not so soft that they’re falling apart.
MAKE AHEAD: I’ve made these before a few hours before a party and then reheated them soon before the party in a 300 degree oven for about 7-8 minutes.
MAKE IT VEGETARIAN: Try substituting the sausage for a hearty cooked grain, like quinoa. You could also do a mix of chopped veggies, such as red and yellow peppers.
MAKE IT LATER: If you have extra stuffing, there are SO many additional dishes you could make with it! The last time I made this, I used my extra stuffing the next day for a hearty sausage egg scramble. You could also place some in a pita or wheat wrap with some lettuce and Greek yogurt for a tasty lunch. You could use the extra stuffing as pizza topping, or even mix it in with a light cream sauce and serve with noodles for dinner.
Recipe adapted from Ina Garten