Locatelli Sausage Stuffing
- 14 cups of stale Italian bread small cubes - white sourdough or white and wheat mix can work too
- 1 pound of uncased sweet Italian sausage with fennel
- 1 pound of uncased hot Italian sausage with fennel
- 2 cups of diced yellow onions
- 2 cups of diced celery
- 1 cup of diced carrots
- 2 sage leaves
- 2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
- 1 cup or more to taste of Locatelli Pecorino Romano cheese
- 1 teaspoon of celery salt + extra to taste
- 1 teaspoon of black pepper + extra to taste
- 6-8 cups of low sodium chicken broth
- 10 tablespoons of butter 1 stick plus 2 tablespoons
- 2 tablespoons of chopped parsley
- *If you prefer to buy store bought stuffing you can use 2 12-ounce packages of unseasoned cube style.
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Place the bread cubes in a single layer on a sheet pan and bake for approximately 7 minutes. Set to the side.
- In a large sauté pan, brown the sausage with 2 tablespoons of olive oil. While cooking, break apart the sausage into small pieces with a metal spatula or wooden spoon.
- Melt a stick plus 2 tablespoons of butter in a large stock pot approximately 4 quarts or more over medium heat. Add the chopped onions, celery, carrots and sage leaves.
- Cook until vegetables are tender-crisp, about 8-10 minutes.
- Add 6 cups of broth to the cooked vegetables and bring to a boil. Add the celery salt and pepper. Remove from heat.
- Stir in the baked bread cubes and fold in the browned sausage, Pecorino Romano cheese and parsley. Mix together thoroughly. At this point, I recommend sampling and adding salt or pepper to taste, if necessary. You may also need to add more broth, as necessary.
- Put oven on broil. Lightly butter the sides and bottom of a large 4-quart casserole dish or aluminum tin (whatever you're serving in). Transfer the mixed stuffing from the pot to the dish or tin and broil uncovered for approximately 10-15 minutes so the top is crispy and golden brown.
• To reduce sodium in the recipe, you may substitute unsalted butter and use low salt chicken stock.
• If you cannot find sausage with fennel, I recommend using 2 teaspoons of fennel seeds and browning the sausage with them.
• If you do not prefer spice, you may use 2 pounds of sweet sausages instead.
• Bread can be toasted 3 days ahead and kept (once cooled) in a sealed bag at room temperature.
• Stuffing tastes best on the day you want to serve, but you can make stuffing ahead up to 1 day. Cover unbaked stuffing mixture in a large 4-quart casserole dish and refrigerate up to one day. Bake 30 minutes until hot.
• Stuffing also freezes well. Make sure it's cooled completely before freezing in an airtight container for up to 1-3 months. Best is to freeze it uncooked. When thawing, thaw in refrigerator overnight. Preheat your oven to 350°F.
• Place the stuffing into an oven-safe dish and cover with foil. To eliminate concern stuffing will be dry, drizzle some chicken broth and dot with extra butter prior to baking for 15 minutes.
• If your stuffing is too wet and gummy (this recipe shouldn't be) turn it out onto a baking pan or cookie sheet. Break it up and spread it into an even layer. Then bake until dried to the level you desire. Return the stuffing back into its dish and serve.