These spicy sausage stuffed mushrooms make for seriously addictive appetizers so don't be surprised when they just seem to disappear at your next party.
Prepare the mushrooms
Remove any excess dirt or debris from the mushrooms by gently wiping with a damp paper towel. Carefully remove the stems from each mushroom, setting aside 12-14 of the largest caps for stuffing. Chop the stems and any remaining mushroom caps very fine. (Do not chop the mushroom caps you reserved for later use.)
Cook the sausage
In a large skillet over medium heat, cook the sausage according to the package instructions (usually 10 to 12 minutes), breaking the sausage up into small, even chunks with a potato masher (see note). Use a flat spatula to scrape off the meat that presses through the masher.
When the sausage has been browned and cooked completely through, remove to a paper towel-lined plate to drain any excess grease.
Cook the onions, garlic and mushrooms
In the skillet that you cooked the sausage, cook the chopped onion for 2 to 3 minutes. Stir in the white wine and cook for an another 3 to 4 minutes until the onion becomes soft and fragrant, incorporating the fond from the pan as you cook. Add 3 cloves of finely chopped garlic and cook for an additional 2 to 3 minutes. Add the chopped mushrooms to the onions and garlic and cook the mushroom mixture over medium heat for 10 to 12 minutes[/cooked-timer until most of the moisture has cooked off. Set aside to cool.
Make the mushroom filling
In a small bowl, mix together the parmesan cheese, paprika and cayenne. In a large mixing bowl, combine the Parmesan-spice mixture with the Neufchâtel cheese. Fold in the sausage and mushroom mixture until all the ingredients are thoroughly incorporated.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
In a small bowl, melt the butter in the microwave. Using a pastry brush, brush the inside of the reserved mushroom caps with the butter and arrange them evenly on a baking sheet about 1/2-inch apart. Using a tablespoon or small scoop fill and mound each mushroom with the mushroom-cheese mixture, careful to evenly distribute the cream cheese-mushroom mix as much as possible. Bake for 20 minutes until the mushrooms become tender and liquid starts to form under the caps. Garnish with the parsley. Be careful removing the stuffed mushrooms from the oven as there might be hot liquid in the baking sheet.