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.