Diane’s Sausage Stuffed Zucchini Boats

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Photo provided by BudgetBytes.com

Local farmers have been busy lately producing an abundance of in-season produce for the markets. Many of these items are likely to appear on the grocery list, including zucchini. If you’re putting this healthy item in the shopping cart, consider making Diane Pecca’s Stuffed Zucchini Boats. She says the recipe is “thrifty and easy to make.” Pecca usually serves it with pasta or rice, but noted garlic bread or a side salad will work well, too. After trying the Stuffed Zucchini Boats, the word “stuffed” may be used in a completely different reference.

INGREDIENTS:
4 medium zucchini (make sure they will fit in baking dish)
3 links of sweet or hot Italian sausage
1 small chopped onion
1 teaspoon of chopped garlic
4 teaspoons of olive oil
2 cups of marinara sauce
1 cup of shredded mozzarella
1/4 cup of chopped fresh parsley

DIRECTIONS:
Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.

Cut the zucchini lengthwise in half. Scrape out and chop zucchini flesh, leaving 1/4-inch shell.

Remove casing from the links, and chop the sausage. Heat the olive oil over medium high in a skillet. Add the chopped zucchini, onion, chopped sausage and garlic to heated olive oil Cook for approximately six to eight minutes, then add 1 cup of marinara sauce, mix thoroughly.

In a 3-quart baking dish, spread 1 cup of marinara sauce to bottom of it. Arrange zucchini shells on top of marinara sauce, cut sides up. Spoon sausage mixture into shells. Top with 1 cup of shredded mozzarella. Cover with foil and bake in oven for 30 minutes. Uncover, and bake for another five minutes. Garnish with the chopped parsley

Serves four.