Let me start this off by saying that my son hates zucchini. Anytime I fix it he eats just one bite to satisfy me and then throws the rest away. I've tried to hide it within meals, but most of the time he catches me. When I saw zucchini on sale at the store it made me remember when I made a dish in grad school for my roommate and I using zucchini as a replacement for the noodles. Both of us dined over this new found comfort food and loved every last bite! This was a nod to my wonderful best friend Jill and an attempt to once and for all get my son to eat zucchini.
PS, I was successful...he LOVED it!!!
- 2 large (or 3 medium) sized zucchini
- 1 purple onion, chopped to your desire size
- 1 red bell pepper, coarsely chopped
- 2lbs hot italian sausage (can substitute sweet to take out the heat)
- 1/2 t red pepper flakes (can omit if worried about spice)
- 2 cans stewed tomatoes
- 1 can tomato paste
- 3 sprigs of rosemary
- 1 T italian seasoning
- 1 pgk spaghetti seasoning
- 1 8oz carton ricotta cheese
- 1 cup mozzarella cheese
- About 4 T EVOO
- Salt & Pepper to season
1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
2. Slice zucchini in half, then slice into quarter inch slices longways.
3. Drizzle baking dish with EVOO and lay HALF of the sliced zucchini into the bottom and sprinkle with chopped red peppers, salt and pepper.
4. Cook onions, red pepper flakes, and a pinch of salt & pepper over med-high heat to caramelize.
5. Spread onions over the zucchini and pepper mixture.
6. Brown sausage over medium heat, then strain and put back in pan.
7. In the meantime, add the tomatoes, tomato paste, rosemary, and seasonings into blender and blend until pureed.
8. Pour sauce over strained meat and mix.
9. Add ricotta cheese and mix.
10. Pour HALF of the meat sauce over the zucchini.
11. Add the rest of the zucchini on top of the meat sauce, then top with the rest of the meat sauce and sprinkle the mozzarella cheese over the top.
12. Bake for 25 minutes, uncovered.
13. Let set for 5-10 minutes after taken out of the oven.
I hope you enjoy a meal that satisfied all the bellies in my household! :)