Stuffed Giant Zucchini

This is a giant zucchini What the heck can we do with this? Click to enlarge!

 

Let’s Stuff It

You’ll need:

A sharp serrated knife
A large mixing bowl
A serving plate big enough for two halves of a Giant Zucchini
Not much else.
.
.
.
Ingredients

– One Giant Zucchini – Carefully cut in half lengthwise – all seeds removed (just the seeds)
– Approximately 8 inches of mild Italian Sausage, skin removed and meat separated into small pieces.
– 1/2 cup seasoned bread crumbs
– 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
– One 4 oz can of sliced mushrooms
– One small can of sliced black olives
– Two tablespoons of fresh basil pesto (preferably Papa Don’s Pesto, but any pesto with garlic, pine nuts, Parmesan and virgin olive oil will do)
– One cup of pizza sauce or pasta sauce.
– Two cups of grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese

Preparation

Wash and clean a large zucchini, like the one in the photo. Wash it well and cut about an inch off the narrow end at the stem.

Cut the zucchini in half lengthwise. Try to make it as even as possible.
Now you have two Zucchini Boats

Using a serrated grapefruit spoon (or a regular spoon if you are not a kitchen gadget freak) scrape out the seeds first. Get all the seeds but try not to lose too much of the flesh. Discard the seeds. (Yes, someone actually asked, “what do I do with the seeds.)
Now scrape out the flesh, forming the ‘boat’, removing as much flesh as possible but leaving about 1/4 inch from the skin.
Chop the flesh into small pieces and place in a large mixing bowl.

Add the following ingredients to the bowl and set aside.
– 1/2 cup seasoned bread crumbs
– 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
– One 4 oz can of sliced mushrooms
– One small can of sliced black olives
– Two tablespoons of fresh basil pesto

Next:
Turn the heat to medium high under a 12 inch frying pan and add the pieces of sausage cooking until browned.

When done, drain and pat dry the sausage. Chop the sausage into smaller pieces then and add them to the stuffing mix.

I use cooking gloves, but using your hands, mix the entire mixture until blended. Don’t make a mushy paste, just mix it well.

Pour or brush 1/4 of the pizza sauce (pasta sauce) into the bottom of the boat and brush it against the sides.

Preheat the oven to 350F

Make a few balls of the mixture and place them in the boats till all the mixture is used.
Pour (or brush) the other half of the pizza sauce (pasta sauce) along the edges, into the openings and over the top of the stuffing.
Smooth and press the stuffing out so it is even but not overflowing.

Next

Place each half on foil and loosely cover.

Place both halves on a pizza pan or baking pan and bake for 45 minutes

Remove from the oven and cover the top with about 2 cups of shredded Parmigiano Regiano cheese (or Scamorza or Mozzarella cheese and return to the oven until cheese melts and begins to brown.

If you have a ready broiler., three minutes or less will brown the cheese. Go for it.

Remove from heat and slide onto a serving platter. (use a spatula, lift the heavy end and slide the foil away from you until it is clear.   Careful, it’s hot!

Place it on a serving platter and dig in. I mean really dig into the remaining flesh between the stuffing and the skin.

You did it! Click to enlarge!



Looks hard, but very easy to make. Enjoy!

Papa Don Calarco

 

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