I’m going to stick with the Italian and veggie theme from my last post and share delicious Italian Zucchini Boats. This is one of my favorite rice and sausage combinations. It incorporates the tender, almost creamy, arborio rice and the mild sweet Italian sausage mixed in wonderful herbs and spices associated with Italian foods like basil, oregano, garlic .
In a medium nonstick skillet cook 1 pound of Italian sweet sausage over medium heat breaking up the meat as it cooks for 5 – 8 minutes, or until meat is no longer pink and in bite-size crumbles. Transfer to a bowl and keep warm.
Wipe the skillet out with a paper towel and melt 4 tablespoons butter over medium heat. Add 1 cup arborio rice, 2 – 3 cloves minced garlic, 1/2 cup diced white onion and sauté for 2 minutes softening the onion. Add 1 cup cherry tomatoes and 2 tablespoons Italian seasoning. I like to use TWS spaghetti seasoning it is not your basic oregano, basil, and parsley mix. It adds additional vegetables and natural flavors and just brings the dish alive with fresh flavors. Using a wooden spoon break the tomatoes as they cook. Salt and pepper if needed.
Add 2 cups of water and let simmer over medium for 15 – 20 minutes or until the liquid is almost absorbed.
Add an additional cup of water and allow that to simmer until liquid is completely absorbed, about 10 minutes, and the rice is tender. Rice will be nice and fluffy.
Stir the sausage into the rice mixture.
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Slice two large zucchinis in half lengthwise. Using a spoon hollow out the center of each zucchini.
Spoon the rice and sausage mixture into each zucchini until they are full.
Place In a preheated 400°F oven and bake for 25 minutes.
Divide 1 cup mozzarella cheese among the zucchinis and place back in oven for 5 minutes, or until the cheese is melted and golden brown.
- 2 large zucchinis
- 1 pound sweet Italian sausage
- 4 tablespoons butter
- 1 cup arborio rice
- 2-3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/2 cup white onion, diced
- 1 cup cherry tomatoes
- 2 tablespoons TWS spaghetti seasoning, or Italian seasoning
- 3 cups water
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- 1 cup mozzarella cheese
Cook the sausage in a nonstick skillet until no longer pink and in crumbles, about 5 – 8 minutes. Transfer to a bowl and keep warm.
Add the butter to the skillet and melt over medium heat. Add the rice, garlic, and onion. Sauté for 2 minutes then add tomatoes, spaghetti seasoning, and salt and pepper to taste.
Add the water and let simmer over medium heat for 30 minutes or until rice is tender and the liquid is absorbed. Mix in the sausage.
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Slice the zucchinis in half and scoop out the middle. Fill with the rice mixture until full.
Place in a preheated 400°F oven and bake for 25 minutes. Sprinkle with the mozzarella cheese and bake another 5 minutes or until the cheese is bubbly and browned.