Italian Sausage and Herb Stuffing
This recipe has all the delicious qualities of our Old-Fashioned Bread Stuffing with added flavor from mild Italian sausage. Made with soft sourdough bread that's been moistened with milk, this stuffing bakes up moist, tender and richly flavored. Serve with Garlic-Herb Crusted Crown Roast of Pork, or any of our roast turkey recipes.
- 2 links mild Italian sausage, removed from their casings
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 tablespoons butter, divided
- 1 cup onion, chopped
- 1/2 cup celery, chopped
- 1 clove garlic, finely chopped
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon oregano
- 1 tablespoon fresh thyme thyme leaves
- 12 slices good quality, firm textured, soft bread, cubed (see notes)
- 1 cup milk
- 2 eggs, lightly beaten
- 3 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped
Preheat the oven to 350°F.
Heat the olive oil in a large pan over medium heat. Add the sausage and sauté until lightly browned, breaking up large chunks with a spatula, 4 to 5 minutes. Add 1 tablespoon of butter and cook until melted. Add the onion, celery and garlic and continue cooking until both the onion and celery are soft and tender, 3 to 4 minutes longer. Season with salt and pepper, then stir in the oregano and thyme. Remove from the heat and allow to cool for 5 minutes.
While the sausage cools, place the bread cubes in a bowl and add the milk. Using your hands, work the milk through the bread until thoroughly moistened. Gently squeeze out and excess milk (as you would a sponge) and pour off. Add the eggs, parsley and sausage mixture. Combine well.
Transfer the mixture to a well greased 1-1/2 to 2 quart casserole. Cover and bake for 40 minutes, then dot the top with the remaining butter and return to the oven uncovered for 10 minutes more. Remove from the oven and replace the cover to keep warm until served.
Makes 6 to 8 servings
We like to use sourdough bread with a soft, chewy crust for this stuffing (we leave the crust on). Twelve slices equals about 3/4 pound of this dense variety of bread, or about 4-1/2 cups of cubes.