Shapeless Soufflé – Sformato di Funghi Misti

This time I had to resort to my favourite on-line dictionary to understand what this dish is in fact supposed to be. The results were “shapeless” and “a type of soufflé”. Right. Well, although the name “shapeless soufflé” is not exactly the most appetizing of the Italian kitchen, it is yet certainly worth a try! The good news is that unlike a shapely (French) soufflé, it is not supposed to be very airy. Therefore, there is no need for those nerve-wracking moments of watching your soufflé rise whilst holding your breath and hoping your upstairs neighbour won’t be strolling around in his flat.

My first ever sformato experience was given by this recipe. I think my Finnish herbs were slightly milder than the Italian ones (especially the marjoram) so next time I will probably double or triple their quantity. Whilst finding this dish quite tasty, I am still slightly baffled about its purpose. Apparently its uses are so versatile that the only proper classification for a sformato is “food”. For me, it anyway served as a light dinner.

Mushroom Sformato

Serves 6

700 g potatoes

600 g mushrooms (of any type)

50 g parmesan cheese, grated

200 g Provolone cheese, diced

1 sprig of marjoram, chopped

1 small bunch of parsley, chopped

1 garlic clove

2 eggs

salt to your taste

olive oil

Clean the potatoes and cook them in boiling water until tender (about 20 minutes). Let the cooked potatoes cool down. After that peel and mash them.

Clean the mushrooms and chop them into not-too-small slices. Heat the olive oil in a frying pan and add the garlic clove and mushrooms. Cook the mushrooms for a few minutes unti browned.

Slice the Provolone cheese into small cubes. Add the cheese cubes, parmesan, herbs, eggs and mushrooms to the mashed potatoes. Stir well and add salt to your taste.

Take a rectangular narrow baking pan (used for e.g. making bread loaves). Alternatively you can use ramekins to create individual portions. Line the pan with a parchment paper, a pour the mixture into it. Bake in the oven at 180 Centigrades for 45 minutes until the sformato has turned a golden colour.