Posted at: 11/09/2011 7:28 PM | Updated at: 11/13/2011 9:36 AM
Italian Bread and Sweet Italian Sausage Stuffing: The Lanzetta/Murko Thanksgiving Stuffing
from Carole Murko of Heirloom Meals
Everyone loves our stuffing. And, I confess, until this week, there was no recipe. Nana and Mom just made it with more or less the same ingredients each year, and, of course, had one of the kids as the "taster" to make sure all the seasonings were just right. I have taken a page out of their book and make it exactly as they did - with the basic ingredients: Italian bread, Italian sweet sausage, pignoli nuts, onions, celery, butter, milk, chicken broth or bullion, parsley, sage or Bell"s Seasoning, grated parmesan or pecorino romano, salt and pepper. And, I always get asked for the recipe. So, Mom and I carefully measured out ingredients this week and produced this recipe. Keep in mind, it’s really a guide. You might like more sausage, more cheese, more Bell’s or less. You might want to use white bread or use the stale bread that you have in the freezer. Just taste it and have a taster on hand to tweak it to your liking!!
12 cups cubed Italian Bread, toasted in the oven
1-2 lbs sweet Italian sausage (try to find in in bulk i.e not in the casing, but you can just cut the casing off if you cannot find it in bulk)
1 stick butter
2 1/2 cups finely chopped onions
2 1/2 cups finely chopped celery
3 cups milk
2 bullion cubes
1/2 cup roasted pine nuts
1/2 cup chopped parsley
1 tsp Bell’s Seasoning
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
Salt and Pepper to taste
Cube and toast the bread the day before you make the stuffing. Store, once they are cooled, in a large mixing bowl, covered lightly with tin foil.
Saute the sausage in a large skillet until golden. Add the sausage to the bread cubes. In the same skillet, melt the butter, add the onions and celery, and saute until translucent. Add the onions and celery to bread cubes. In the same skillet, add the milk and bullion cubes and heat until bullion is dissolved and milk is warm. Pour over the bread cubes. At this point you can mix together. The bread cubes will be absorbing the milk become a little soft. Add the pine nuts, parsley, Bell’s seasoning, parmesan cheese and salt and pepper. This is when you will need to judge whether you need a little more milk or any additional seasonings as you don’t want your stuffing to be dry.
Put the stuffing into an oven proof casserole dish. You can make it ahead and refrigerate but be sure that if it’s a glass dish that it comes to room temperature before you put it in the oven or it could crack.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Bake for 20-30 minutes until golden and heated throughout. Enjoy!