Funghi ripieni di ricotta (Wild mushrooms stuffed with ricotta)

Here is the second recipe that we prepared during the culinary tour.

When the tour group went foraging in La Sila mountains near Camigliatello, we found a distinctive type of mushroom called macrolepiota procera, which is known as mazza di tamburo in Italian and “parasol mushroom” in English. Here is a picture of one that I found on that day.

I was not familiar with this mushroom, but our mycologist guide told us that this one was edible and to pick them all. It comes in various sizes; when they are small they have a tight cap but as they age the cap opens up and looks like an umbrella.

And let me reiterate the warning I've given in previous posts: please, please, PLEASE, don’t pick mushrooms unless you are trained to identify them or are with a mycologist. Some wild mushrooms are poisonous and can lead to severe illness or death.

I went to my grocery store to look for a similar mushroom and the closest I could come up with were portobellos and shiitakes. I used them for this recipe and both worked well.

Like the recipe of mushroom and potato soup in the previous post it is very simple and easy to prepare. The filling has fresh ricotta, breadcrumbs, pecorino cheese, and fresh herbs.

Mix all the ingredients well. Add salt and pepper.

I typically clean mushrooms with only a damp cloth or small toothbrush to avoid getting them wet. But for this recipes Chef Pietro Lecce of La Tavernetta washed the mushrooms. He explained that he actually wanted some moisture, which would help in cooking the mushrooms. I rinsed the mushroom caps and drained them completely, so whatever was absorbed was a small amount of water.

Remove the stems and sprinkle with some salt. Stuff the mushroom caps with about two tablespoons of ricotta filling, less if you're using small cap.

Oil a baking dish and place the stuffed mushroom caps next to each other. Drizzle with olive oil.

And bake. We had these stuffed mushrooms warm as an appetizer but they work well as a side dish also. Give it a try!

For a printable recipe

click here

Funghi ripieni con ricotta(Wild mushrooms stuffed with ricotta)

One dozen mushroom caps,  more if small

1 cup well-drained ricotta

¼ cup dried breadcrumbs

¼ cup grated pecorino cheese

2 teaspoons fresh mint leaves, chopped

2 teaspoons fresh parsley, chopped

2 teaspoons fresh basil leaves, chopped

¼ teaspoon kosher salt

Ground black pepper to taste

Preheat the oven at 400F.

Remove stems from mushrooms and quickly rinse under water.   Drain well.  Set aside.

Mix the remaining ingredients until all blended.

Coat a baking dish with some olive oil.  Sprinkle the mushroom caps with salt. Stuff each cap with one to two tablespoons of ricotta filling, depending on size.

Place the stuffed mushroom caps inside the baking dish right next to each other.

Drizzle with olive oil.   Bake at 400 F for 20 minutes for large caps, 15 minutes for small caps.