Mascarpone-Stuffed Mushrooms

Make a vegetarian batch of these bad boys to satisfy everyone in the room: Omit the capicola and sauté red pepper flakes and garlic in olive oil at a low temperature. Once the oil is spicy and the garlic is translucent, add to the mascarpone and follow the instructions the same way.

Yield: 1-2 dozen pieces , Prep time: 30 minutes , Cook time: 20 minutes



1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.

2. Remove the stems from the mushrooms and, with a lightly dampened paper towel, wipe dirt off the mushrooms. Place in a bowl; now, drizzle with a couple tablespoons of olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Spread on the cookie sheet, well side up, and pop into the oven to cook until the mushrooms are tender.

3. While the mushrooms roast, finely dice the hot Capicola. In a nonstick sauté pan, bring 2 tablespoons of olive oil and the Capicola to medium-high heat. Once the meat is super crispy, turn off the heat and let cool.

4. Next, combine the cooled Capicola with the mascarpone cheese in a small bowl and set aside until the Mushrooms are finished roasting.

5. In another small bowl, combine the chopped parsley, basil, squeeze of fresh lemon juice, a drizzle of olive oil, salt and pepper. Toss together and set aside until ready to serve.

6. When the Mushrooms are finished cooking, remove from the oven. If there is any liquid that has collected in the well of the mushrooms, pour it out, and then transfer onto a serving tray. Next, spoon the cheese mixture -- as much as the well of the mushroom can hold -- into each one. Repeat until all the mushrooms are stuffed and finish with a generous pinch of the fresh herb salad. Serve while everything is still hot.

Tips + Tricks

**Gauge the size of the mushrooms with regards to the amount of cheese you will need to prepare. White button mushrooms tend to have a larger well than creminis, so you may need to increase the amount of cheese to 1 cup and add a few more slices of capicola to the equation.
**Go ahead and make more than enough of the cheese filling whether your mushrooms require it or not -- toss extras into a pot of hot pasta, or fold them into an omelette in the morning.