Sophia Loren, the icon of Italian beauty and culture, can cook too! There are lots of Sophia cookbooks out there, but this recipe (found from an old newspaper clipping) caught my attention this weekend. This is an elegant recipe for mushrooms stuffed with chopped shrimp and other fresh ingredients. I use freshly made bread crumbs, the way the Italians do, and it makes a huge difference! I remember helping my Nonna make stuffed artichokes and stuffed peppers, and we always crumbled our own bread crumbs from fresh Italian bread. Slice the bread, trim off crust, and crumble with your hands. I was her sous chef when we were together, and I learned a lot from her. The stuffing turns out crispy, but not dry. Once you add all the ingredients together for the stuffing mixture, use your hands to gently incorporate the filling. (I couldn’t help adding a drizzle of olive oil to the mixture.) When filling the mushrooms do not pack them tightly. Keep it light. Bake and enjoy and let me know if you try the recipe! It’s perfect for the family, or a gathering with friends.
Here’s how I prepared them:
Sophia Loren’s Stuffed Mushrooms
1 lb. mushrooms , stems removed
½ cup fresh breadcrumbs (2-3 slices Italian bread)
½ lb. chopped raw shrimp (cleaned & deveined)
2 tbsp. chopped green onions
3 tbsp. chopped pimientos (or fresh red pepper)
3 tbsp. minced celery
1 clove minced garlic (or 2)
2 tbsp chopped parsley (plus a little extra for topping)
1 dash Worchestershire sauce (1 dash or two)
add salt & pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Wash and prepare mushroom caps. I used medium – large cremini mushrooms. When you remove stems scoop out enough room to hold the filling. To make fresh bread crumbs, like my grandmother used to, use fresh Italian bread. Use a few slices, remove crusts and crumble in a bowl. Rub between hands to get a fine texture. Mix all ingredients, except mushrooms, in a bowl. Fill caps with mixture. Bake at 350 degrees for 20-30 minutes, until tops are crispy. Top with fresh chopped parsley.
Next time, I will share Sophia’s recipe for Pizza all Napoletana!