When I was putting together this appetizer, I wanted to try and come up with a combination of ingredients that didn't use any type of breadcrumb to bind the filling together. I really can't imagine what wouldn't taste great stuffed inside of a mushroom, but, this filling is super easy, and it tastes just like pizza without the crust! You could vary the filling ingredients to suit your taste, or dietary needs, if you like. These mushrooms could be made and assembled the night before and baked when you're ready to enjoy them.
1Preheat the oven to 375 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Clean the mushrooms and using a paring knife, remove the stems, hollowing them out. Arrange them on the baking sheet. In a stove top pan over medium high heat, cook the sausage in a drizzle of olive oil until it's almost completely cooked, then add the diced onion and green pepper. Saute until the sausage is completely cooked and the vegetables are still crisp tender. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Drain any excess fat from the pan then add the minced garlic, oregano, red pepper flakes and pizza sauce. Continue to saute for a couple of minutes giving the flavors time to combine.
2Next, add the softened cream cheese, stirring until it has melted and combined with the sausage mixture. Remove the pan from the heat, and add the grated parmesan, 1/2 of the shredded mozzarella cheese, the drained sliced olives and one teaspoon of dried parsley. At this point, I suggest you taste and adjust the salt and pepper if needed.
3Using a teaspoon, fill each mushroom cap, then sprinkle each with the remaining mozzarella cheese. Place about 2 inches apart on the baking sheet. Place the stuffed mushrooms into the oven and bake for 15 minutes until the cheese is golden. Cool slightly before serving with additional pizza sauce for dipping. Yield: 20-24 stuffed mushrooms
Mushrooms are like sponges. When cleaning them, never submerge them in water or they'll absorb too much liquid.
My mushroom caps were x-large. If you choose smaller 'shroons, you'll have enough filling for a larger yield.