Whole Wheat Stuffing with Sausage, Pancetta and Mushrooms
1 -1 lb. whole wheat rustic loaf whole wheat bread, cut into 1 inch cubes, I used Trader Joes Artisan Bread, Multi Grain Loaf (about 10 cups)
3-4 Tbsp. olive oil
4 oz. pancetta, cut into small cubes
1 lb. Italian sweet sausage, taken out of casings and browned and crumbled in large chunks, reserve drippings
1 -10 oz. bag of sliced cremini mushrooms, coarsely chopped
2 stalks celery, chopped
4 large shallots, chopped
1 ½ tsp. fresh thyme, minced
½ tsp. fresh rosemary, minced
3 c. low sodium chicken broth, Heat in a saucepan over medium high heat and reduce to 1 1/2 cups
2 large eggs
1 ½ c. finely grated parmesan cheese
Preheat oven to 375 F and place rack in the center. In a large bowl, toss the bread cubes in olive oil. Place on a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Bake for about 15 minutes or until the bread cubes are golden and slightly crunchy. Cool, then place cubes back in the bowl.
In a large skillet, sauté the pancetta over medium high heat until crisp, about 4 minutes. Add the cooked sausage and heat through together 2 more minutes. Add the meat to the bread in the bowl. Add the shallots, celery and mushrooms in the pan with the drippings. Saute about 6 minutes or until cooked through. Add the thyme and rosemary, stir 1 minute. Add to the bowl with the meat and bread. Mix gently together. (You can do this 1 day ahead. Cover and chill.)
Preheat oven to 375 F. Spray 13 x 9 baking dish with cooking spray. Bring 3 cups of the chicken broth to a boil until reduced in half (1 ½ cups) in a saucepan; about 6-8 minutes.
In a large bowl, whisk eggs together. Mix in the cheese; gradually add the broth. Pour the liquid over the bread mixture. Sprinkle with black pepper; stir well.
Place stuffing in the baking dish. Cover with foil and bake 25 minutes. Remove foil and bake uncovered about 20 minutes or until the top is golden and crisp around the edges.