We are headed to Hawaii on Thanksgiving Day (don’t worry…Yoda is with our favorite house-sitters) so I decided to make Gary Thanksgiving dinner a week early (American Airlines just wasn’t going to cut it for the proper holiday meal). Gary loves dressing/stuffing….since I don’t stuff my bird it is dressing, and for me nothing beats my grandmother’s cornbread dressing, but wanted to shake our little dinner up a bit this year so made a few additions to create this Italian inspired dressing with pancetta, pine nuts and parsley….a bit of Italian sausage would also be a tasty addition, but we aren’t huge sausage people. A great dressing for the big day of feasting.
Italian Style Dressing
5 ounces pancetta, diced
1 small yellow onion, diced
2 carrots, diced
2 ribs celery, diced
5 Cremini mushrooms, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup white wine
5 slices Italian white bread, slightly toasted and crumbled
4 corn bread muffins, crumbled
1 tablespoon poultry spice
1/2 teaspoon each fresh chopped thyme, sage and rosemary
1 1/2 tablespoon fresh chopped parsley
2 tablespoons toasted pine nuts
Salt and pepper
3-4 cups low sodium chicken stock
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Add the pancetta to a large skillet and cook on medium heat until cooked through. Use a slotted spoon to remove the pancetta from the pan, leaving the fat in the skillet. If you need to, add a touch of olive oil (if there isn’t enough fat in the pan rendered from the pancetta,) then add the onion, carrots and celery. Cook until softened slightly then add the mushrooms and garlic, stirring to combine. Cook for 2 minutes then add the wine and poultry seasoning, season generously with salt and pepper. Let most of the wine cook out then add the herbs, stirring to combine. Cook for another 2 minutes then remove from heat. Crumble the bread and muffins into a large bowl. Top with the veggies and pancetta with about 2 cups of stock and stir to combine. Add a bit more stock if the dressing isn’t coming together. Adjust any seasonings to your taste (we like a lot of pepper so we added a bit more salt and pepper at the end for about a tablespoon of each total for the recipe.) Scoop into a baking dish sprayed with a bit of cooking spray, smooth, and drizzle with a bit more stock to keep it juicy when cooking. Cover with foil and bake for 30 minutes, remove foil and cook for another 20 minutes. Delicious!