Italian-American traditions come together beautifully in this recipe, incorporating pasta and Parmesan with the lusty flavors of fennel and red pepper found in traditional Italian sausage.FOR MORE, SEE STUFFING OR DRESSING?
• 1-pound loaf artisan bread, cut into cubes
• 1/2 pound ditalini pasta
• 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
• 1 pound sweet Italian sausage, casings removed
• 1 large onion, chopped
• 3 large garlic cloves, minced
• 8 ounces porcini mushrooms, chopped
• 1/2 cup finely chopped fresh sage leaves
• 1/2 cup finely chopped flat-leaf parsley
• 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
• 2 eggs, beaten
• 2-1/2 cups chicken stock
• 1 teaspoon salt
• 1/2 teaspoon pepper
• 1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1. Preheat oven to 350 F.
2. Spread bread cubes evenly on cookie sheet, and toast in oven for 10 minutes, or until dry and lightly browned.
3. Meanwhile, cook and drain pasta. Set aside.
4. Heat olive oil in large skillet over medium heat. Add sausage, and cook until browned, about 10 minutes, breaking meat into bits as it cooks.
5. Add onion, garlic and mushrooms, and cook for about 6 minutes. Add sage, parsley and butter.
6. In large mixing bowl, combine toasted bread, pasta and sausage mixture, and mix well.
7. Add eggs, chicken stock, salt and pepper, and mix thoroughly. Use more or less chicken broth, if necessary. Mixture should be very moist, but not soupy.
8. Spoon mixture into 9-by-13-inch casserole dish. Cover with foil, and bake for 35 minutes.
9. Uncover, and sprinkle cheese evenly on top. Bake, uncovered, for 10 minutes. Cool for about 10 minutes before serving.