Cooking has always been a special way for me to connect with my family and friends. Sunday dinners at the DiBella house became a long-standing tradition since Little Lou was a boy. I would spend the day making the sauce and by the time all of the kids in the neighborhood were ready to eat, we would open the doors and welcome family, friends, anyone that was hungry. Of course, I made sure we had Louie's favorite: lasagna! Now that we have moved from New York to Texas, Sunday dinners are a bit smaller but very special. I have my grandbabies with me and my grandson Luca loves to cook and bake with Grandma.
This is a great way to cut corners and save some time during the busy holiday season. One casserole dish, in the already packed refrigerator, instead of baking sheets with mushrooms sliding all over the place that take up way too much valuable space at holiday time. These can be made a few days in advance and popped in the oven on Thanksgiving Day!
1. Cook bacon in frying pan till it is crispy and well done. Remove from pan and crumble the bacon into small pieces. Drain bacon drippings and put it aside for now.
2. In the same pan you just cooked the bacon in, now add 2-3 tbs of butter to flavor the mushrooms with the bacon drippings. Add garlic powder, onion powder and parsley.(Mushrooms will shrink down to almost half the size they were prior to cooking.) cook until tender, they don’t need to be fully cooked through as they will be going into the over at a later time to heat and eat! Remove from heat.
3. Drain all the excess water that has accumulated in the pan from the mushrooms. Don’t throw it away, you might need it following the next step.
4. Into a large bowl add the mushrooms, crumbled bacon, parmesan cheese and bread crumbs. Mix all together. Add some bacon dripping to the mix if you want that little extra kick of flavor or just some of the mushroom water, if you are watching the calories! (I usually add both!) You want the mixture to be a little moist, not soupy. If you add too much liquid, don’t worry, just add another “Italian Mama handful” of breadcrumb to the mix!
5. Put everything loosely into a baking dish (no need to oil the dish) and lightly sprinkle a little more parmesan cheese and bread crumb on the top
6. Bake in the oven for about 20-25 minutes until hot in the center and enjoy!
2-3 pound of mushrooms (I like the white ones, you can use any you like)
1 lb of bacon
1 c shredded parmesan cheese
1 c seasoned bread crumbs
2 tsp garlic powder
2 tsp onion powder or diced onions if you prefer
¼ parsley flake
Side note: These aren’t just for Thanksgiving! You can kick it up a notch with your Italian Sunday dinner by adding some shredded mozzarella to the mix, putting a little homemade sauce on top, and topping off with shredded mozzarella…..there you have it…..Mushroom Parmesan!