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By Kate McCullough
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Peel and finely chop the shallots and garlic, and roughly chop all the fresh mushrooms. Pick the thyme leaves and tear the stale bread into small chunks.
Lightly toast the nuts in a dry frying pan, then roughly chop. Pick and roughly chop the parsley.
Cover the porcini with 300ml of boiling water and leave aside to rehydrate.
Heat the oil in a large, wide pan and add the shallot and garlic. Cook over a medium heat, stirring occasionally, for 5 to 8 minutes or until the shallot is softened but not coloured.
Drain the soaked porcini over a bowl, reserving the liquid. Add these and the rest of the mushrooms to the pan along with the bay and thyme leaves and cook until all the mushrooms are well softened. If they release a lot of liquid, pour it onto the diced bread and carry on cooking.
When the mushrooms are tender and browned, tip the mixture into a large bowl and leave to cool completely.
Preheat the oven to 190ºC/375ºF/gas 5.
Once the cooked mushroom mixture has cooled, add the chunks of bread, a good pinch of sea salt and black pepper, the pecans or hazelnuts and about half of the porcini’s reserved soaking liquid (make sure you pour it through a sieve first to stop any grit getting through). Combine well.
If the stuffing seems too dry, just add a little more of the reserved porcini liquid.
Add most of the parsley and stir it through then tip the stuffing into a lightly greased baking dish of approximately 20cm x 25cm and cover with foil.
Place in the oven and bake for 35 minutes, then remove the foil and cook for a further 10 minutes. Scatter over the rest of the chopped parsley before serving.