Featured in our 2020 Wine & Food Pairing Series
6 medium zucchini (about 8 ounces each)
1 pound Italian sausage (if links, casings removed), sweet, mild or hot
¼ cup onion, finely diced
2 medium tomatoes, seeded and chopped
1 cup panko bread crumbs
1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/3 cup minced fresh parsley
2 tablespoons minced fresh oregano or 2 teaspoons dried oregano
2 tablespoons minced fresh basil or 2 teaspoons dried basil
1/4 teaspoon pepper
3/4 cup shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese
Additional minced fresh parsley, optional
1. Preheat oven to 350°. Cut each zucchini lengthwise in half. Scoop out pulp, leaving a 1/4-in. shell; chop pulp. Place zucchini shells in a large microwave-safe dish. In batches, microwave, covered, on high 2-3 minutes or until crisp-tender.
2. In a large skillet, cook sausage, onion and zucchini pulp over medium heat 6-8 minutes or until sausage is no longer pink, breaking sausage into crumbles; drain. Stir in tomatoes, bread crumbs, Parmesan cheese, herbs and pepper. Spoon into zucchini shells.
3. Coat the bottom of 2 ungreased 13×9-in. baking dishes with marinara, then add the stuffed zucchini. Bake, covered, 15-20 minutes or until zucchini is tender. Spoon 1-2 tablespoons of marinara over the zucchini, and sprinkle with mozzarella cheese. Bake, uncovered, 5-8 minutes longer or until cheese is melted. If desired, sprinkle with additional minced parsley.
Serve with Iron Hub Sangiovese.
Vegetarian option: Replace Italian sausage with chopped mushrooms or other protein.