April 15, 2010

It Can't Always be about the Pasta and Spiedini

Today I am going to tell you about Nonna’s stuffed mushrooms. I have been thinking about this for awhile and had been trying to come up with a significant family story to go along with this recipe, and I have to tell you I’m at a loss. Then I thought, well at least I can give a detailed description of the mushrooms deliciousness…except that for some inexplicable reason, I don’t particularly love these mushrooms.

Don’t misunderstand me; this is a wonderful, simple, well flavored recipe. And certainly, stuffed mushrooms are not insignificant when it comes to our family meals. I mean, they are always there. Never does a holiday go by that a stuffed mushroom doesn’t find its way onto my plate. And who do you think is usually put on mushroom stuffing duty? That’s right. Yours truly.

The reason for my sharing with you this recipe now is because we recently celebrated Easter, and in addition to the roast leg of lamb, artichokes and pasta, of course we had to make the mushrooms. Despite the fact that I don’t adore the stuffed mushrooms, I admit, I would be very sad if they disappeared and I suppose it can't always be about the pasta and the spiedini. Stuffed mushrooms are, after all tradition. And you just don’t mess with tradition.

Side note: It doesn’t help that it’s really hard to make a stuffed mushroom look pretty.

Stuffed Mushrooms

Once again, the measurements for this recipe are approximations/wild guesses. Particularly with the breadcrumbs and cheese, we tend to eye ball the amounts until we get the texture we’re looking for- not to bread crumbly, not too cheesy. I wish I could better articulate this balance, but then that would just be giving away too much information. Sorry.

1 package of large white mushrooms
1 package of baby bella mushrooms, stems removed and discarded
About 1 cup of Italian breadcrumbs
About 1 cup of good Parmigiano-Reggiano, grated
A large handful of Italian parsley, chopped
2-3 large garlic cloves minced
Good quality olive oil

Preheat the oven to 350*

With a damp paper towel, gently wipe the mushrooms. Remove the stems of the white mushrooms, reserving for later use.

Roughly chop the reserved stems and baby bella mushrooms. I like to use my Cuisinart for this. In a medium bowl mix together the chopped mushrooms, breadcrumbs, cheese, garlic and parsley. Slowly add some olive oil just to bind the ingredients together, not so much that the mixture becomes oily.

Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Stuff the mushrooms, using all of the mixture (never let the mixture go to waste!).

Bake for about 15 to 20 minutes.


  1. How well I know the expectations of the stuffed mushrooms. They have been my assignment for family dinners for close to 30 YEARS! I do love them, but man, do I get tired of making them. FYI, over the years, I've added toasted/ground pignoli nuts to the breadcrumb/cheese mixture. It adds a nice nuttiness to the flavor without being overwhelming.

  2. So perhaps my indifference to them comes from having to do a lot of the stuffing...interesting. Thank you for the tip about the nuts!