Firm pears such as Bosc or Anjou stand up well to baking and make a delicious foil for Italian sausage in this sweet and savory stuffing.
- 1 loaf day-old rustic bread, dark, hard crusts removed and bread cut into 1/2-inch cubes (about 12 cups)
- 1 stick unsalted butter, cut into pieces, plus more for baking dish
- 1½ large onions, chopped (about 3 cups)
- 2 small leeks, trimmed, thinly sliced into half-moons and rinsed well (about 3 cups)
- 3 stalks celery, chopped (about 1¼ cups)
- 1 large fennel bulb, chopped (about 2 cups)
- 12-14 ounces firm-ripe Bosc or Anjou pears (about 3), chopped (about 3 cups)
- coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
- 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh rosemary leaves
- 1 pound sweet Italian sausage, removed from casings
- 2 cups turkey stock
- 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
- 3/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves
Preheat oven to 350 F. Spread bread cubes on a rimmed baking sheet and bake until crisped but not golden, about 10 minutes. Let cool. In a 14-inch straight-sided skillet (or 2 large skillets), melt butter over medium-high heat. Add onions, leeks, celery, fennel and pears; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until vegetables and pears are softened and start to turn golden, about 15 minutes. Stir in rosemary.
Meanwhile, cook sausage in a skillet over medium heat, stirring occasionally and breaking into large crumbles, until browned and cooked through, about 10 minutes. Drain on paper towels. Stir into vegetable mixture, then transfer to a large bowl. Add bread cubes and toss well. Drizzle stock over mixture, add eggs and parsley, and toss to combine well. Season with 2 teaspoons salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Use 10 cups stuffing to fill bird; place remainder in a buttered 8-inch-square baking dish. After turkey is out of oven, bake at 350 F until heated through and top is browned, 40 to 45 minutes.