2 tablespoons olive oil
10 ounces hot Italian sausage, out of the casing (optional)
1 white onion, finely chopped
4 garlic cloves, sliced
1/8 teaspoon red pepper flakes
3/4 pound mushrooms, finely sliced
1 bay leaf
3/4 cup white wine
1 (14 1/2-ounce) can stewed tomatoes
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil
1 1/2 cups Italian Bread Crumbs
3/4 cups grated Romano cheese
Serves 4 to 6
Preheat the oven to 350 F.
Pour the oil into a nonstick saute pan and brown the sausage over medium heat, about 3 minutes. Set aside. Discard all but 3 tablespoons of the fat left in the saute pan. Saute the onion in the reserved fat for 3 minutes over medium heat. Add the garlic and red pepper flakes to the pan, reduce the heat to low and cook 5 minutes. Increase the heat to high, add the sliced mushrooms and bay leaf, stir well and cook 2 minutes. Add the wine and cook until it has all evaporated, 3 minutes.
Drain the stewed tomatoes and reserve their juices. Rougjly chop the tomatoes and add them to the saute pan. Reduce the heat to medium and cook 2 minutes. Add the parsley and basil and toss well. Add the juices from the stewed tomatoes and cook over medium-low heat for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. The mixture should be fairly thick and almost dry. If it is very watery, cook for 3 minutes more. Transfer the mixture to a large mixing bowl.
Separate the egg white and yokes. Add the yolks to the stuffing mixture along with 1 cup of the bread crumbs and cheese. Beat the egg whites until they have almost a meringue-like consistency. Fold them into the stuffing.
Coat the bottom and sides of individual baking ramekins or a small baking dish with butter, coat well with the remaining bread crumbs and fill with the stuffing mixture. Bake in the preheated oven for 20 to 25 minutes. Run a sharp paring knife around the edges of the remekins to loosen the stuffing. Turn the ramekins upside down over each dinner plate and the baked mixture will slide right out.