Here’s a flavorful recipe you can make with or without meat. I have made it both ways and they are equally delicious. So, if you are looking for a great dinner idea for Monday’s meatless menu…look no further! In our house it’s portabella mushrooms filled with homemade tomato sauce, sautéed spinach, and topped with creamy goat cheese. Add a lovely green salad, a glass of white wine and you have the makings of an amazing meal. If you want to add some meat to the sauce, my preference sweet Italian sausage. Whether you choose meatless or with meat, you will love it either way. Plus…your house will smell insanely delicious!
Let’s start with the tomato sauce recipe which I posted back in 2018 and have updated since.
This is what you will need:
- 20 – 24 Campari tomatoes
- 4 Kumato or vine-ripe tomatoes
- 1-ounce extra virgin olive oil
- 6 – 8 garlic cloves, thinly sliced, more if you like
- Large handful of basil leaves, chopped
- 1/2 tsp. sugar
- 1/2 tsp. kosher salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 2 Tbsp. tomato paste
- With a sharp knife make a cross in the bottom of each of the tomatoes.
- Place the tomatoes into a large bowl and pour boiling water over the tomatoes, making sure the water covers all the tomatoes. Allow to sit in the water for approximately 2 minutes. Using a slotted spoon remove the tomatoes, let cool slightly, and peel.
- Slice your tomatoes horizontally.
- Pour one ounce (2 Tbsp.) of the olive oil into a skillet. I like using my 11″ by 2″ All-Clad French Skillet only because I can squeeze in all those extra tomatoes.
- Place your tomatoes, cut side up into the skillet…it’s okay to stack the tomatoes if you run out of room. Then scrap all the tomato juices off your cutting board onto the cut tomatoes.
- Sprinkle the sugar, salt, black pepper, sliced garlic, and basil over the tomatoes. The more garlic and basil the merrier.
- Cook over medium heat anywhere from 30 – 40 minutes. At 40 minutes my tomatoes have broken down and have formed a sauce. Check your tomatoes from time to time while they are cooking. I like to take a wooden spoon and push down on the tomatoes to make sure they are cooking down.
- Turn your heat to low at 40 minutes, add 2 Tbsp. tomato paste and cook for about 10 minutes more to slightly thicken the sauce.
- Taste and if necessary, add more salt and pepper.
- Take 1lb. of sweet Italian sausage, usually 2 links, remove the casing and place into a large pan lightly coated with olive oil. Using a large spoon begin breaking up the sausage into bite size pieces as it is cooking. Once the meat is cooked, drain, and then add to the sauce.
Now begins the fun …
This is what you will need:
- 4 large Portobella Mushrooms
- Olive Oil
- 6-ounce bag or box of fresh spinach
- 2 Tbsp. butter
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 5-ounce log of Creamy, fresh Goat Cheese
- 1/4 cup Panko Breadcrumbs
- 1 Tbsp. butter
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Preheat your oven to 400 degrees (F).
- Wash the tops of you portobella mushrooms.* Then turn the mushroom over and using a small spoon scrape away the gills and cut or twist off the stem, this is the bottom side. Be careful not to go too deep.
- To roast the portabella mushrooms, I use a square (8”x 8”) porcelain bakeware dish from Made-In. Lightly spray olive oil on the bottom of the bakeware dish and then lightly spray the bottom side of the portobello mushroom (the side of the stem and gills) and place bottom side up into the bakeware dish. Lightly season with salt and pepper.
- Place in preheated oven and bake for 15 minutes. You want your mushrooms to remain firm.
- Remove mushrooms from oven and carefully flip them onto a cooling rack with parchment paper underneath to collect the accumulated water. Let cool.
- Melt 2 Tbsp. of butter in a large skillet on medium heat and lightly sauté the garlic, 30 seconds will do. Add in spinach and sauté until spinach has wilted.
- Place your mushrooms back into the bakeware dish, bottom side up (stem and gill side) and begin to assemble. Yes, there will be a little water on the bottom of your bakeware set but it will thicken when you place it back into the oven. Plus, it adds taste to your mushrooms.
- Fill each mushroom with either the meatless sauce or the sauce you added meat to. Then top the sauce with the sautéed spinach.
- Slice your goat cheese log into ½” slices and place on top of the spinach. I usually use a slice and a half on each mushroom.
- In a small skillet on medium low heat lightly brown panko breadcrumbs in 1 Tbsp. of butter, stirring constantly. Remove from heat and place the breadcrumbs on top of the goat cheese.
- Return to oven and bake for 15 minutes…watch carefully so breadcrumbs do not over brown. Cheese will soften.
When washing portabella mushrooms…you can either use a damp paper towel and gently wipe down the top of the mushroom or you can gently wash the mushroom under running cold water for about 10 – 15 second until the debris washes off. Use a paper towel to dry the tops. Once you have cut away the stem and scraped out the gills, lightly wipe this area with a damp paper towel. For this recipe I do not cut the edges of the mushroom because I stuff the mushroom with sauce and need to be able to contain the goodies.
While cooking the sauce…never be afraid to try your food as you are cooking. This is the only way you know how your dish tastes and how you want it to taste.
If making homemade tomato sauce is not your thing, you can always purchase a good quality prepared marinara sauce. I have used the Rao’s brand.
This recipe was adapted from a recipe I found on A Beautiful Plate.
As with any recipe this is just a guideline. Take it for what it is. Use your imagination. Experiment.
From my kitchen to yours…enjoy and bon appétit!