There’s a great meat purveyor at our local farmer’s market that we’ve been buying our meat from for the past few weeks. We’ve bought all kinds of goodies from them so far like beef cheek, rabbit, and lamb lollipops. This week we bought some of their spicy Italian turkey sausage. The first thing that pops into my brain when I think “sausage” is always sausage and peppers! (Blame it on the Italian genes.) Making sausage and peppers hoagies or sausage and peppers pasta would be a little on the carb-heavy side. Therefore, I decided that it would be both fun and healthy to stuff some zucchini!
- 2 large zucchini
- 1/2 lb. turkey sausage
- 1/2 red bell pepper, diced
- 1/2 green bell pepper, diced
- 1/2 small yellow onion, diced
- 1/4 c. fresh basil, thinly sliced
- 2 Tbsp. olive oil
- salt and pepper (to taste)
- crushed red pepper (optional)
- 1/4 c. parmigiano-reggiano cheese (optional)
1. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. Heat a medium sauté pan to medium-high heat. Add the olive oil and sausage to the pan.
2. After 2 or 3 minutes, add the diced onion to the pan along with the sausage. Cook until the onion is soft and the sausage has begun to brown and is cooked most of the way through. The sausage will finish cooking in the oven. (That being said – feel free to cook it all the way through in the sauté pan if you are more comfortable with that.)
3. Place the cooked sausage and onion mixture in a bowl. Stir in the diced red and green bell pepper and set aside. Season this mixture with salt and pepper. Add 1/2 tsp. or so of crushed red pepper, if desired.
4. Cut the zucchini in half, lengthwise. Using a small spoon or melon baller, remove the meat from the middle of each zucchini, leave a border of around 1/2 inch or so. Make sure not to dig the core too deeply, as you don’t want a hole in the bottom of your zucchini boat! Season each zucchini boat with some salt and pepper (you can be a little generous with the salt, as the zucchini will release a lot of water as it steams in the oven and you will lose some of the salt to the released water.)
5. Spoon the sausage/onion/peppers mixture into each zucchini boat, filling each zucchini as much as possible. In a 9×13 baking dish (or an 8×8 if you have it, as the zucchini will most likely fit nicely in this smaller pan) add just enough water to barely cover the bottom of the pan. (Note: if you have some on hand, you can also substitute chicken broth for the water.)
6. Place the zucchini into the baking dish and cover with foil. Bake at 400 degrees for 30 to 40 minutes, or until the zucchini are cooked through.
7. Remove the zucchini from the oven and allow to cool for a few minutes. Sprinkle with some grated parmigiano-reggiano cheese, if desired.