There is so much going on this time of year that it never surprises me when I realize I forgot an important part of a meal. Usually it's a side dish to compliment my main course that I am scrambling to find at the last minute. Some might think it easier to go buy something; but with this easy stuffing recipe on hand there is never a need to resort to a prepared side.
Italian Sausage & Broccoli Rabe stuffing comes together quickly and has a big bold taste that pairs beautifully with a variety of meat dishes. Try it the next time you are looking for a last minute side; you won't be disappointed.
Italian Sausage & Broccoli Rabe Stuffing
1 loaf of crusty Italian bread chopped into 1-inch cubes (8 cups)
1-2 bunches broccoli rabe
4 Tbsp. unsalted butter
1 Lb. sweet Italian sausage, casings removed and crumbled
1 cup onion, diced small
2 celery stalks, diced small
1 package cremini mushrooms, chopped
10 fresh sage leaves, minced
1 Tbsp. fresh thyme, minced
1/2-1 cup grated pecorino cheese
1-2 cups chicken stock
salt and pepper to taste.
Preheat the oven to 350ºF.
Spread the bread onto a baking sheet and bake for 20 minutes, or until the bread is crispy.
In the meantime, bring a large pot of salted water to boil. Add the broccoli rabe and boil for 3 minutes. Remove from the water and submerge into an ice water bath for 2 minutes. Drain, and chop into small pieces.
Melt the butter on medium high heat in a large fry pan. Add the sausage, onions, celery, mushrooms, sage, and thyme, breaking up the meat into small pieces as you cook. Sauté until the vegetables are soft and the sausage is cooked through. Add the cooked chopped broccoli rabe to the mixture and stir to mix.
Remove from heat. Add the bread and pecorino, stir to combine. Add chicken broth and stir until all the bread is coated and wet. Season to taste with salt and pepper and adjust pecorino.
Spoon into a 13 x 9 inch rectangular pan. Cover the pan with tin foil and bake for 30 minutes. Remove the tin foil and continue baking for an additional 30 minutes. Serve warm.
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