’Nduja, the spicy, spreadable southern Italian meat condiment, has been embraced wholeheartedly in Britain – so much so that native pork producers are now making their own versions. It adds incredible flavour to other ingredients – in this case, mushrooms. The portobello mushrooms at my local market have been huge this year, and I love how retro it feels to stuff them – and how joyfully simple. Do try this at home.
Stuffed mushrooms with ’nduja
Crisp crumbs, meaty interior, rich, garlicky, umami juices: this is one supper you will be pleased to have tried.
Prep 15 min
Cook 35 min
7 large portobello mushrooms, wiped clean
2 tbsp olive oil
1 medium onion, peeled and finely chopped
1 fennel bulb, trimmed and finely chopped
Salt and black pepper
4 garlic cloves, peeled
1 small handful thyme, picked
2 large, ripe tomatoes, roughly diced
For the breadcrumbs
125g stale bread, crusts removed, or panko breadcrumbs
Grated parmesan, to finish
Heat the oven to 200C (180C fan)/390F/gas 6. Break the stalks off six of the mushrooms and chop them up with the seventh mushroom. Heat the oil and a third of the butter, and saute the mushrooms, onion and fennel over a medium heat for about 10 minutes, seasoning well.
Add three of the garlic cloves, crushed, and the thyme, cook for a few minutes more, so the raw flavour of the garlic softens, then stir in the ’nduja and tomatoes. Simmer very gently, stirring from time to time, for another five to eight minutes, while you fry the breadcrumbs.
If you are using stale bread, whizz it up in a blender. Melt another third of the butter in a hot frying pan and add the crumbs (homemade or panko). Season well, add the last clove of garlic, again crushed, fry until golden and fragrant, then leave to cool a little.
Lay out the mushrooms on a baking sheet and top with the sauteed onion mix. Top with the crumbs, dot over the remaining butter, scatter over a small handful of grated parmesan, to taste, and roast for about 15 minutes, until sizzling and golden. Eat with fresh bread and a salad, if you want.