I can’t resist adding another stuffing, knowing that they are so popular at Thanksgiving. This Italian-inspired offering has the fall flavors of sausage, fennel, and mushrooms, brightened with sweet red bell pepper and Parmesan. For the best texture, use bread with a firm, not open, crumb. Most basic Italian or French loaves work fine, but ciabatta has too many holes.
- 3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
- 1 pound sweet ltalian sausage, their casings removed
- 2 small heads fennel, cut into ½-inch dice (3 cups)
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 1 large red bell pepper, seeded, cored, and cut into ½-inch dice
- 10 ounces cremini (baby bella) mushrooms, sliced
- 4 garlic cloves, chopped
- 1 pound day-old, crusty Italian or French bread with a firm crumb, cut into 1-inch cubes (8 cups)
- 1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary
- 1½ cups Turkey Stock, as needed
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1. Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the sausage and cook, breaking up the sausage with the side of a spoon, until the sausage is cooked through, about 10 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the sausage to a large bowl, leaving the fat in the pan.
2. Add the fennel and onion to the skillet and reduce the heat to medium. Cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until the fennel is tender, about 10 minutes. Transfer to the bowl with the sausage.
3. Add the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil to the skillet and heat. Add the bell pepper and cook until it begins to soften, about 3 minutes. Add the mushrooms and cook, stirring occasionally, until the mushroom juices evaporate and the mushrooms begin to brown, about 12 minutes. Stir in the garlic and cook until it is fragrant, about 1 minute. Transfer to the bowl with the sausage and vegetables.
4. Add the bread cubes, Parmesan, and rosemary. Stir in enough stock to moisten the cornbread, about 1½ cups. Season with the salt and pepper to taste. Use immediately as a turkey stuffing.