Sunday, August 3, 2014

Paleo Italian Stuffed Mushrooms

Last night's dinner was supposed to be a bit different. I had planned on making the caveman's favorite stuffed mushrooms, which use a homemade cashew "cheese." The intent was there, but the cashews were not...

So I found myself with spicy sausage, sun-dried tomatoes, pizza sauce, peppers and mushrooms. Clearly I was going to go the Italian route, but have to wing it.

I planned to simply mix the sautéed vegetables in with the cooked ground sausage, but I found the mixture a bit chunky. I pulsed it in the food processor to make it a bit more manageable, and I think that step really helped.

The caveman requested a little fresh mozzarella on top, but the cheese is easily omitted. The filling has loads of flavor and tastes delicious on its own!

Paleo Italian Stuffed Mushrooms

4 large portabello mushroom caps
1 tbs. olive oil
1 lb. hot or mild Italian sausage, casings removed
1 large shallot, minced
3 minced garlic cloves
1 chopped bell pepper
2 cups baby arugula
salt, pepper and crushed red pepper flakes, to taste
1/2 cup marinara or pizza sauce
thinly sliced fresh mozzarella (optional)
freshly chopped basil (to garnish)

Preheat oven to 400.

Remove stems from mushrooms and set aside. Use a spoon to scrape out and discard the gills.

Drizzle olive oil over mushroom caps and place in a baking dish. Cook at 400 for 5 minutes, then flip caps and cook for another 5 minutes on the reverse side. Remove from oven.

Meanwhile, cook sausage in a large skillet over medium heat, using a wooden spoon to break up the meat.

Chop mushrooms stems and add them to the skillet with the sausage along with the shallot, garlic, pepper and arugula. Cook until sausage is no longer pink.

Put sausage and vegetable mixture in a food processor and pulse into mixture has come together but still has some texture to it. Season to taste with salt, pepper and red pepper flakes.

Put 2 tbs. of pizza or marinara sauce inside mushrooms caps. Top with sausage mixture, evenly dividing between the caps. Top with cheese, if using.

Return to oven and bake for 20 minutes. Garnish with chopped fresh basil.

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