Lidia Bastianich and her daughter, Tanya Manuali, have come out with their eighth cookbook, “Lidia’s Celebrate Like an Italian.”
It’s that time of year when it seems everyone and his neighbor has a garden full of zucchini. Sure, you can turn summer’s quintessential veggie into bread, but why not go Italian?
This easy, no-fuss recipe is a gluten-free take on lasagna, with hollowed-out zucchini “boats” the building block for a cheesy mix of tomatoes, meat and cheese instead of sheets of pasta. I used sweet Italian sausage, but you could easily substitute chicken sausage or ground beef. The zucchini cooks up extremely tender — you’ll be able to cut it with a fork.
2 large zucchini
2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon ground pepper
½ cup part-skim ricotta
1 large garlic clove, minced
1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
6 ounces cooked sweet Italian sausage, crumbled
1 cup diced fresh plum tomatoes
1 teaspoon dried oregano
½ cup shredded mozzarella cheese
¼ cup finely shredded Parmesan cheese
Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
Cut zucchini in half lengthwise. Cut a thin slice off the bottoms so the halves lie flat in pan. Scoop out the pulp, leaving a 1/4-inch shell (discard the pulp). Brush the cut sides with oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
Combine ricotta, garlic, basil and parsley in a small bowl. Combine crumbled sausage, tomatoes, oregano and mozzarella in a medium bowl. Divide ricotta mixture among zucchini halves. Top with equal portions of the sausage-tomato mixture.
Place the zucchini boats in a 9-by-13-inch baking pan and cover with foil. Bake for 25 minutes, or until tender.
Remove the foil and sprinkle the zucchini with the Parmesan. Bake uncovered another 5 minutes, until cheese is crispy and melty. Serve immediately.
— Adapted from eatingwell.com.