Fratelli Perata Winery

BBQ Mushroom Caps Appetizer

In case you need an excuse to drink the 1999 Sangiovese, here's another evening BBQ pairing that will have your friends asking for more: more Sangiovese, more BBQ. Make these the day ahead, cover, and refrigerate. Put on the grill when guests begin to arrive.

2-pounds Italian medium hot sausage (Sam's Deli in Fresno has great sausage)
24 mushroom caps, large, stems removed
8-ounce cream cheese
4-ounce Parmigiano Reggiano, finely grated
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 cup red wine (not the Sangiovese, it's too good!)

Remove the sausage from casings, sauté with 1/2 cup wine until just cooked, breaking into very small pieces while stirring. Drain fat, set aside to cool. Mix softened cream cheese and Parmigiano Reggiano together, and then mix in beaten egg. Mix cheese mixture with cooled cooked sausage.

Spritz mushroom caps with red wine, fill with sausage, about 1 tablespoon each. Place on platter, cover, and refrigerate.

To BBQ: place cap filling side up directly over medium hot coals. Cook approximately 5 to 10 minutes, or until mushroom and cooked through and sausage is warm. Serve warm off the BBQ with Sangiovese.