Growing up, I was blessed to be able to share a home with my family and my maternal grandparents. The house was a raised ranch so my parents, sister and I lived on the upper level and my grandparents lived in the lower level. My grandfather built the house when my mom was in high school with the intention of either my mom or her brother (my Zio Angelo) to also move in and raise their families one day. The house was designed for my family and my grandparents to each have their own living spaces. We essentially had our own homes but with a walk down a flight of stairs and stroll down a hallway, we would be able to enter my grandparents home.
I lived in the house from the age of one year old until I was 26. My childhood and some of my adult life will always be tied to it. Being that my grandmother was truly the matriarch of our big Italian family, I loved being able to live in the middle of “the hub” that came from her living that role. My memories are filled with the meals we shared daily “downstairs” at my grandparents, the countless visits from my cousins visiting our Nonna and Nonno, and of course- the many social gatherings my Nonna had with her lady friends to share recipes, talk about their grandchildren, and oftentimes to say the rosary.
This recipe will always take me back to watching my Nonna prepare her famous stuffing recipe for us to enjoy “upstairs” at my house on Thanksgiving Day. Her recipe is slightly different than your usual stuffing- calling for things like white wine, cream of mushroom soup and of course-stuffing bread. I have used her recipe as a foundation to create a dish that would maintain those familiar flavors while also keeping up with my paleo pace of life.
- 3 Tbs Avocado Oil, divided
- 3 ½ Tbs Ghee, divided
- 2 tsp salt, divided
- 1.5 lbs sweet italian sausage (casing removed)
- 2 cloves chopped garlic
- 4 cups (about 1 pound) diced mushrooms
- 2 tps salt, divided
- 1 cup chopped celery
- 2 cups sliced onions
- 6.5 oz can sliced black olives
- 2 pears diced
- 2 cups diced roasted and peeled chestnuts
- 1 Tbs dried thyme
- 1 Tbs dried rosemary
- 2 Tbs coconut flour
- ¼ cup chicken stock
- 3 eggs
- Preheat oven to 375 and grease a 13×9 casserole dish
- Heat 1 Tbs avocado oil
- Sauté sausage until fully cooked. Be sure to break up into small pieces while doing so.
- Remove from pan and place into a large mixing bowl
- In the same pan, heat 1 Tbs of avocado oil and 1 Tbs of ghee. Add chopped garlic and cook until softened
- Sauté mushrooms, adding 1 tsp salt. Remove access water from the pan as it cooks. Remove mushrooms from pan and add to large bowl containing the sausage.*
- Add 1 Tbs oil and 1 Tbs ghee. Sauté onions and celery until golden, adding 1 tsp salt.
- Add onion and celery to the large bowl
- To the bowl stir in, chestnuts, pears, olives, spices and coconut flour. Stir to combine all ingredients.
- Next mix in eggs.
- Add chicken stock, just enough to coat not soak
- Add 1 tsp softened ghee, mix well
- Spread in pan and place dollops of ghee on the top of the stuffing, about 1 Tbs.
- Cover with foil and bake for 30 minutes. Uncover and bake for an additional 10 minutes
- If you find your sausage to be salty do not add all 2 tsp while cooking the rest of the stuffing.
*If using canned mushrooms there will not be access water to drain.