Katie’s Italian-Inspired Stuffing Recipe
For Katie and Ted Collier, co-owners of Katie’s Pizza and Pasta Osteria in Rock Hill, Missouri, every day is like Thanksgiving. When the pair opened the restaurant in 2013, they were bolstered by a $40,000 Kickstarter campaign. “It was such a cool thing because we had 250 backers—a lot of people we didn’t even know—and we were so appreciative of that,” Katie Collier says.
Ever grateful, the couple instituted Giveback Tuesdays at the restaurant, a monthly event that benefits a rotating roster of St. Louis charities. Katie’s goes a step further than other fundraisers, though; instead of donating a portion of a meal’s proceeds as many restaurants do, the Italian eatery commits 100 percent. After two years with the program, Katie’s has raised a combined $90,000 for Miriam School, Downs Syndrome Association of Greater St. Louis, Animal Protective Association of Missouri and more. Chef Collier continues giving back with her Italian-inspired stuffing recipe below, just in time for the holidays.
10 cups Ciabatta bread 4 fennel sausage links 1 cup dried currants
1 cup pine nuts
1/4 cup fresh sage
4 cups chicken stock 2 or 3 red pears
2 cups diced white onion
2 cups diced fennel bulb
1 cup diced celery
3 tablespoons melted butter Kosher salt
1. Cut Ciabatta bread into 1/2 inch pieces.
1a. Toast in oven on cooking sheet for 10 minutes at 350 degrees. Set aside.
2. Cook fennel sausage links (casing removed) in sauté pan for 10 minutes or until just cooked through, breaking up sausage as you cook. Set aside.
3. Cook Soffrito in sauté pan over high heat in 3 tablespoons melted butter. To make Soffrito combine 2 cups diced white onion, 2 cups diced fennel bulb and 1 cup diced celery. Season with kosher salt while cooking.
3a. Sautée for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until golden brown. Set aside.
4. Fine chop fresh sage. Set aside.
5. Whisk eggs. Set aside.
6. In a large mixing bowl, combine toasted bread crumbs, cooked sausage (fat drained), Soffrito, sage, pine nuts, currants, chicken stock and eggs. Mix thoroughly with hands until combined.
7. Put mixture into roasting pan. Top with 2 or 3 sliced pears.
8. Bake in pre-heated 350-degree oven for 45-50 minutes. Serve!
Photo courtesy of Katie’s Pizza and Pasta.