No, I’m not talking about the road rage guy with the mullet. Or the nosy neighbor who stands at the fence with a glass to her ear trying to hear the scintillating conversation you’re having about name brand versus generic food storage bags.
I’m talking about zucchini. This summer staple is everywhere and I needed a new way to make it. Although to be perfectly honest, this dish came to mind because I had a metric ton of stuffing left from the stuffed mushrooms this past weekend. I needed something to stuff and zucchini volunteered.
Sausage Stuffing (adapted for this dish)
- 5 large mushrooms, chopped
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1/2 pound Italian or regular sausage, removed from the casings
- 6 scallions, white and green parts, minced
- 2 garlic cloves minced
- 2/3 cup panko crumbs
- 8 oz cream cheese
- 1/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan
- 2 1/2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley leaves
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 3 zucchini
- 2 cups of marinara sauce (or pasta sauce)
Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a medium skillet over medium heat. Add the sausage, crumbling it with the back of a wooden spoon. Cook the sausage for 8 to 10 minutes, stirring frequently, until it’s completely browned. Add the chopped mushrooms and cook for 3 more minutes. Stir in the scallions and garlic and cook for another 2 to 3 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the panko crumbs, stirring to combine evenly with all the other ingredients.
Finally, swirl in the cream cheese and continue cooking until the cheese has melted and made the sausage mixture creamy. Off the heat, stir in the Parmesan, parsley, and season with salt and pepper, to taste. Cool slightly.
Slice the zucchini lengthwise. Using a spoon or melon baller, scoop out the middle seeds and flesh, making a boat out of the zucchini. (save the flesh for bread or zucchini brownies!) Stuff with the sausage mixture. Top with marinara sauce. Cover with foil and bake 20 minutes. Zucchini will still have a slight bite to it. Sprinkle with parmesan.
Now this is a dish that will make that neighbor wish she had an invitation. However, this won’t help the mullet people.