In a large skillet, heat olive oil over medium high heat. Add one large sweet onion, coarsely chopped, and a bunch of scallions, thickly sliced. Sauté until translucent. Add crumbled Italian sausage meat, taken out of casings; from 3 large sweet, 3 large spicy. Homemade from Frigo’s. Brown. Add 4 cups Crimini mushroom caps, quartered. Brown. Deglaze with 1/2 cup dry red wine. Stir. Season with oregano, basil, garlic powder to taste. Stir and remove from heat. Let stand to room temp.
Make your favorite bread stuffing as directed. I use Pepperidge Farm, 2-4 bags. When cooled, add the sausage, mushroom mixture and gently blend together. Pour into baking dish. Divide into 2 dishes if necessary for quicker heating. Pop in the oven, covered to heat through, then uncover until crispy on top.
Stuffed bell peppers are comfort food. This method of cutting the peppers lengthwise in half is easy and cooks more evenly. For the stuffing, it’s from whatever leftovers in the fridge. All veggie or with meat. Tonight I did it this way:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cut bell peppers of whatever color in half. Lengthwise, not across. Core and de-seed. Drizzle olive oil over bottom of roasting pan. Place pepper halves in pan, open side up.
For the stuffing: Mix together leftover cooked hamburgers crumbled, veal chop cut into small pieces, crumbled croutons, small onion chopped, large zucchini peeled and chopped, chunky salsa, barbecue sauce and egg to bind. Blend well and scoop into pepper halves so loose and in a mound. Top with a little barbecue or tomato sauce, garlic powder, drizzled olive oil. Bake at 350 degrees for an hour.
Stuffing browned, peppers soft and sweet.
Lidia Bastianich is one of my favorite chefs. I have several of her cookbooks and use them often. We recently visited her Del Posto in New York. She is co-owner with a group including her son Joe and Mario Batali. It features products from Lidia’s homeland, the northeastern region of Italy bordering Slovenia. Here is what we selected from a tasting menu with wine pairings.
Tutti a tavola a mangiare:
Vitello Tonnato~ Veal with creamy tuna sauce, olive crostone, capers, lime cells and lemon basil w/ Marcarini Roero Arneis 2013 Piemonte
Lobster alla Cesare~ Grilled romaine, pane grattato, sweet & sour onions w/ Franz Gojer Kerner 2013 Alto Adige
Spaghetti Dungeness Crab~ Sliced jalapeño, minced scallion w/ Bastianich Refosco 2012 Friuli
Orecchiette Lamb Neck Ragù~ Orange carrots, toasted rye w/ Girolamo Russo Etna Rosso “a Rina” 2012 Sicilia
Broiled Veal Chop alla Rossini~ Foraged mushrooms, braised red endive w/ Marchesi di Gresy Barbaresco “Martinenga” 2008 Piemonte
Baked Striped Bass Scorzonera~ Chicories, fumetto al tartufo w/ Edi Simcic Chardonnay 2010 Slovenia
Livorno Style Cacciucco~ Seafood stew, garlic bread crostini, kelp cured cod w/ San Giusto a Rentennano Chianti Classico 2012 Toscana
Pecorino Romano Cake~ Honey gelato, roasted pears
Browned Butter Panna Cotta~ Greenmarket apples, pasta frolla
Sfera di Caprino~ Celery sorbetto, fig agrodolce