3rd Place Honorable Mention – 2014 Recipe Contest

Chef Richie here, at your service!

Hope you had a great Thanksgiving. I’m sure you’re refrigerator is full of leftovers but after you get sick of all that turkey, you’ve got to try this recipe!

Our third honorable mention prizewinner in our 2014 recipe contest is…home chef…drum roll please…Sue Ellen Olin! Congratulations Chef!

Mile High Sun Dried Tomato and Italian Sausage Shepherds Pie. WOW!

This recipe is comfort food gone wild, with the addition of A LOT OF our Bella Sun Luci Sun Dried Tomato Bruschetta, which takes a classic to new heights…and, as I love to say, a classic is a classic because it’s a whole greater than the sum of its parts. In this case, the trilogy of sausage, mashed potatoes and sun dried tomatoes gives me, in addition to goosebumps, a whole new lease on culinary life and a great chance to warm up your home. Home is where the Mile High Shepherds Pie is!

Chef Richie says: in cold, wet weather, comfort food is king, and this dish is king of the comfort foods!

Chef Sue Ellen will be receiving a deluxe gift assortment of Bella Sun Luci ingredients, the perfect platform for another new take on comfort food for the 2015 Mooney Farms/Bella Sun Luci recipe contest. I’m already having a mid-winter’s night’s dream about osso buco, pot roast and other sun dried tomato turbo-charged cold weather new comfort food dishes. Go chef Sue Ellen!


Mile-High Sun Dried Tomato and Italian Sausage Shepherds Pie


  • 1 -9 inch deep dish pie shell
  • 8 oz Italian sweet sausage (bulk or ground)
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 2 8.5 oz jars Bella Sun Luci Sun Dried Tomato Bruschetta
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1/2 cup plain bread crumbs
  • 1/3 cup finely chopped fresh basil
  • 1/4 cup sliced black olives
  • 3/4 cup Parmesan cheese plus two tablespoons
  • 6 medium-sized russet potatoes, peeled and cut into small chunks
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3 tablespoons milk
  • 1 -8 oz package cream cheese, softened
  • 2 green onions, finely chopped
  • 1 whole fresh basil floret


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cook sausage and minced garlic in a large frying pan over medium heat, stirring often until sausage is no longer pink (about 5 minutes). Put water to boil in a large saucepan, add potato chunks and cook until potatoes are tender (about 20 minutes). Drain sausage and minced garlic but keep in frying pan. Put sun dried tomato bruschetta in with sausage and garlic, reserving 1 tablespoon bruschetta in a small bowl. Cook sausage-bruschetta mixture over medium-low heat for 4 minutes, stirring often. Mix in beaten egg and bread crumbs and further blend all well together in pan. Place bruschetta-sausage mixture into the pie shell. Smooth with a spatula to make an even surface. Evenly distribute chopped basil over mixture. Sprinkle a layer of 3/4 cup Parmesan cheese over the chopped basil and spread black olive slices over cheese. When potatoes are done, drain and mash well. Add butter, salt, milk, cream cheese and green onions to the potatoes and continue to blend all well together using a hand mixer or whisk. Spread whipped potatoes on top of the mixture in the pie shell, spreading out evenly and piling especially high towards the center. Sprinkle whipped potatoes with the remaining two tablespoons of Parmesan. Bake for 30 minutes on middle rack of preheated oven. Remove from oven. Place reserved tablespoon of bruschetta in a dab in the center of the potato-topped pie. Garnish with the basil floret. Cool slightly and serve warm. Makes 6 servings.

Happy cooking and buon appetito! Con amore,

Chef Richie Hirshen

Corporate Chef

Mooney Farms and Bella Sun Luci

Chico, CA

Chef Richie

About Chef Richie

As corporate chef for Bella Sun Luci, Richard "Chef Richie" Hirshen, whose culinary career spans more than 30 years, plays an instrumental role in product development, recipe creation, and cooking demonstrations.

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