Feel free to change or add to the vegetables in the dressing – diced fennel or chopped tomatoes would fit nicely with the Italian theme. You can also substitute 6 ounces (about 1 1/2 cups) crumbled gorgonzola for the Parmesan cheese. Serve with Italian-Herbed Crown Roast of Pork and Shaved Brussels Sprouts with Frizzled Ham.
- 1 1/2 pounds sweet italian sausage (casings removed)
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter (divided)
- 2 red bell pepper (cored, seeded, and cut into 1/2-inch dice)
- 2 onions (cut into 1/2-inch dice)
- 1 pound crusty Italian bread (or French bread, with crusts, cut or torn into 3/4-inch pieces, about 16 cups)
- 1 cup parmesan cheese (shredded)
- 2 tablespoons Italian seasoning
- 1 1/2 cups chicken broth
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- In a very large skillet over medium heat, cook the sausage, stirring occasionally and breaking up the pieces, until browned and cooked through, 8 to 10 minutes. Use a slotted spoon to transfer the sausage to a large bowl.
- Add 2 tablespoons of butter to the skillet and melt over medium heat. Add the bell pepper and onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until very tender, 10 to 12 minutes. Transfer the mixture to the bowl with the sausage. Add the bread, cheese, and herb blend to the bowl. Add the broth, gently stirring to evenly moisten. Season with salt and pepper.
- Spoon the dressing into a buttered 2 1/2-quart casserole dish. Cut the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter into pea-sized pieces and dot them over the top. Cover the dressing with foil and bake 30 minutes. Remove the foil and continue to cook dressing until heated through and top is crisp and golden, about 20 minutes.