Zucchini Boats! Oh how I love zucchini boats. They are one of my go to meals in the summer time when zucchini is abundant. Well, abundant everywhere but my garden. I try and try and still, I just don't get the zucchini explosion that so many people I know do. I don't know why, but it is what it is. I just happily accept zucchini handouts from anyone who is willing to give them to me.
You need one half of a medium sized zucchini for each person. This recipe is for two whole zucchini's, you'll have to adjust if you are making more than that. Cut off the tops and bottoms of the zucchini and then slice in half the long way. Then drop zucchini into a pot of boiling water for about 5 minutes. You don't want to cook them completely, you just want to soften them up some.
In the meantime, in a large skillet, saute in about 2 Tablespoons of olive oil, a red pepper, chopped; a medium sized onion, chopped; and several cloves of garlic, chopped.
When the vegetables are just starting to soften, add about half a pound of Italian sausage and crumble into the pan. I am using turkey sausage for this. But use what you like. If you have big chunks like this, make sure you break them up.
When the zucchini are semi soft and slightly cooked, remove from the boiling water and cool until you can handle them. When you can handle them, scoop out some of the flesh, but make sure to leave enough behind. It should look like a cucumber with the seeds dug out. Add the zucchini pulp to the skillet with the sausage and veggies.
Add your salt and pepper and if you have fresh herbs, add them. If you don't, add whatever dried herbs you like. I have grown very fond of Tuscan Sunset from Penzey's. But today I have fresh thyme from my garden.
Line up the zucchini in a pan and then fill with the sausage mixture.
Bake at 350 for about half an hour. In the last five minutes, if you want to add some shredded mozzarella cheese to the top, that is lovely!
Serve with a simple pasta (a nice aglio olio - spaghetti with garlic and oil) or, like I did on this day, serve with my famous Roasted Vegetable Rice.