Puffball Parmesan

Recipe by Whitey Hitchcock: AMC Collection, Cooking with the Asheville Mushroom Club, p. 109

This is a delicious recipe which my husband and I made and enjoyed just a few weeks ago. In a hurry, you can substitute your favorite jar of spaghetti sauce for the homemade sauce described below.

  • 2 T. minced onion
  • 1/2 c. chopped green pepper (can substitute 1 sliced zucchini)
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 4 T. olive oil, divided
  • 1 (16 oz.) can Italian tomatoes
  • 1 (3 oz.) can tomato paste
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. sugar
  • 1 T. fresh basil
  • 2 c. grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 c. dry bread crumbs, seasoned with 1/2 tsp. savory
  • 4 T. butter
  • 6 giant Puffball or other large puffball slices, each 1/2 inch thick 
  • 1 egg, slightly beaten with 1 T. milk
  • 6 slices mozzarella cheese (preferably fresh)

Place stock in a heavy-bottomed soup kettle, and bring to a slow simmer over medium heat. Meanwhile, over medium-high heat, heat butter and olive oil in medium sized saucepan. When foam has subsided, add garlic and chopped onion. Saute, stirring occasionally, until the onion is transparent, about 1 minute. Add fresh mushrooms and saute, stirring frequently until mushroom liquid has evaporated and slices begin to brown. Add to simmering stock, together with tomatoes, salt and pepper. Simmer very gently, uncovered, until flavors are well-blended and slices are tender, at least 30 minutes. (Alternatively, soup can be slow-cooked in a crock pot for several hours.) Just before serving, stir parsley into soup. Beat eggs with a fork in a small bowl until blended. Add beaten eggs slowly to simmering soup, beating constantly with a long-handled fork. Eggs will spin out in threads. To serve, place a piece of toasted bread in each of four soup plates. Ladle hot soup over bread slices. Sprinkle with freshly grated Parmgiano-Reggiano, and serve immediately, accompanied by grated cheese. Yields 4 - 6 servings.

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