Recipe: Italian Style Baked Mushrooms

Garlic spiked mushrooms, spiced tomato sauce and a gooey layer of melting cheese combine to deliver a rich and comforting starter or side dish. This is a simple little recipe to make and can be prepared ahead of time and re-heated later.

Serves 2

What you need:

  • 1 tbsp of olive oil
  • 250g of chopped mushrooms (use whatever you want, I used chestnut)
  • 1 clove of garlic, minced (or dare I say it, one tsp of the jarred stuff, that’s what I used #sorrynotsorry)
  • A glug of marsala
  • 200g tinned chopped tomatoes (that’s half a tin)
  • Pinch of dried chilli flakes
  • Pinch of sugar
  • 1 tbsp chopped parsley
  • About 100g of cheese (I had lots of little bits leftover from a cheeseboard so used a mixture but would suggest some cheddar and maybe a little parmesan)
  • Toasted bread, to serve

What you do:

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 180ºc
  2. Heat the oil in a large frying pan and add the mushrooms. Cook them over a medium heat until soft and starting to brown, then add the garlic and cook for a minute more.
  3. Pour in a good glug of marsala (or you could use white wine, but it wouldn’t be as Italian) and bubble for a bit until some of the liquid has gone.
  4. Throw in the chopped tomatoes, season and add a pinch of dried chilli flakes plus a pinch of sugar to balance the tartness of the tomatoes. Cook this for about 5 minutes until the sauce has thickened then add the parsley.
  5. Spoon the mushroom and tomato mixture into two mini casserole dishes or ramekins and add the cheese. I just broke up some chunks of cheese into small pieces, added a ring of goat’s cheese then finished with a fine grating of parmesan. Do as you please. Bake in the oven for around 15 minutes until the cheese is bubbling and golden.

I served this as a starter with some toasted ciabatta. It was glorious.

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Number of Injuries: 1 – an easily preventable burn as I removed the dishes from the oven. Use gloves people!

Washing Up Score: 4/10 – cheese baked on to a casserole dish is never pleasant.

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