Hello, vegetables! I’ve missed you so much. I know I very recently mixed you into some muffins, but I feel like I can never get enough of you. Oh. So. It’s weird to write a love note to food that isn’t peanut butter or Nutella? Okay. Nevermind. Thanks to one of my coworkers, I’ve been up to my ears in zucchini, and I am not complaining at all. Zucchini is one of my favorite vegetables and I feel like it goes bad so fast in my kitchen that I can never stock up the way I’d like to.
Have I mentioned my vegetable lust before? I have days where I just can’t eat enough green things. Zucchini, cucumbers, sprouts, lettuce (especially lettuce!)… my mind goes crazy and I can’t focus or eat anything else. I guess there are worse problems, right? Well after last weekend, my vegetable lust has been in full effect. I remedied this by stuffing zucchini into a zucchini. You know, for science or something.
The measurements here are pretty approximate and you may have too much or not enough if you have crazy large or slightly smaller zucchinis. This filled two ridiculous large zucchinis (I’d say a solid foot before I cut off the ends). This means I ate AN ENTIRE FOOT of zucchini for dinner. It was a magical moment for me. I left the parm, mozzarella, and marinara sauce amounts blank because I’m a firm believer that no one should ever tell you how much sauce or cheese you can have. Sprinkle liberally get extra saucy if that’s how you roll. Vegan? Skip the cheese and it’d be just as delicious or use a vegan cheese.
Parmesan cheese (Vegans use 1 – 2 tbsp nutritional yeast)
Mozzarella (Vegans omit or use vegan cheese)
Preheat oven to 350°.
Meanwhile, cut zucchini in half and scrape out the insides. If using extra large zucchini, discard the insides as they will be bitter. If using small zucchinis, reserve for stuffing. There should be ¼ – ½ inch of flesh left on the skin.
Bake zucchini in a casserole dish for 20 minutes. If you like your zucchini kind of squeaky, just spritz with a little nonstick spray. If you want tender, soft zucchini, put a little water in the bottom of the pan (~1/2 an inch or so).
While the zucchini is baking, bring a nonstick pan to medium heat. Spray with nonstick spray, drizzle with olive oil, or use a thin layer of water to saute.
Chop the sausage, onion, garlic, and mushrooms. Add to the pan and saute until the onion, garlic, and mushrooms are soft (if using “real” sausage, you will want to ensure that’s thoroughly cooked – not an expert on real meat!).
Add the zucchini to the pan, Italian seasoning, salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes (if desired) and cook until zucchini in soft. Stir in some fresh grated Parmesan.
Once the zucchini in the oven is soft, drain and liquid and pat dry. Return to casserole dish and stuff with sausage and mushroom mixture.
Cover with marinara sauce and top with cheese, if desired.
Bake until cheese is bubbly or sauce is hot.
Depending on the size of your zucchini, you may need more or less stuffing.