Mondays tend to be one-pot meal nights. I like to do my deep house cleaning and grocery shopping on Monday, so I don’t usually have much time to spend prepping dinner. Plus, I find it really annoying to end the day with a messy kitchen after all that cleaning.
This mushroom bake happens regularly, though it is usually different every time. I still have some goat cheese and Spinach Pesto leftover from last week so that’s what I used last night. If you’ve been following me for a while, you probably notice that I tend to roll ingredients forward. I don’t like to waste food. And I don’t make anything especially for the internet; this food feeds my family. If you don’t have pesto on hand, please don’t make any just for this. It’s not necessary. This recipe is meant more as a method for you to adapt based on your preference and what’s in your fridge. I’m sure no matter which way you spin this, you will be satisfied.
During dinner, the table was quiet and everyone had seconds. And after I came back in the dining room from clearing some plates, I found my husband finishing off the last of the juices directly from the baking dish, using the serving spoon. Most of you will likely consider that bad manners, but in this house it’s one of the best compliments he can give me.
Last night’s Italian Mushroom Bake was made from:
- a pound and a half of regular white mushrooms, stems removed
- a pound of Italian sausage
- 14 oz can of organic tomatoes
- half a white onion, diced
- 2 cups (or so) kale, chopped (can substitute spinach)
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 tsp dried Italian seasoning
- a pinch of red chili flakes
- a pinch of kosher salt
- Optional items: couple tablespoons of Spinach Pesto and a few ounces of goat cheese.
Start by preheating the oven to 350 degrees and heating up a large skillet.
Knock out all your chopping and mincing while those come to temp. Also place your cleaned mushrooms (stems removed) in a casserole dish. Greasing is not necessary.
Add the sausage, onions, garlic and seasonings to the pan and brown. It may look like the seasonings are going way overboard since there is already a good amount of flavor in the sausage, so I’ll let you in on my thinking. Over-seasoning the protein is actually intended for perfectly flavoring whatever liquid is on stand-by. In this case, it’s the tomatoes. Herbs and chili flakes do well to take on some heat before going into liquids… it gets the oils moving, maximizing the flavor. This is why I take this approach.
So when the sausage and onions are nearly done, add the chopped kale to the mix. When wilted slightly, add the tomatoes. After simmering for just a few minutes, your sauce should be perfectly seasoned. But please taste to check for any needed adjustments.
Spinach Pesto sends this recipe over the moon! If you have some on hand, add it to the pan before pouring over the mushrooms. Also before placing in the preheated oven, add dollops of remaining pesto and crumble on the goat cheese. If you are transitioning and still eating cheese, this is phenomenal with a layer of mozzarella. I made this all the time when we weren’t Paleo and always loaded up on the mozz!
Cover and bake for 20 minutes or until the juices are bubbling and the mushrooms have softened. I don’t make any side dishes to go with this. This one pot fed two adults and two kids, each of us had seconds and one of us had thirds… and then drank up all the spicy broth. Clean up was a breeze thanks to him!
Get the super cute “Hot Bacon” spoon featured in this photo here.