Zucchini and Sausage Parmesan

I have been actively trying to eat more vegetarian meals throughout the week. I generally make it a few days and then find myself pursuing the meat counter (for more reasons than my husband being there!). In the beginning it was really hard to figure out what to eat. I love vegetables- don't get me wrong.; but I'm very accustomed to vegetables acting as a supporting role on my dinner plate rather than the leading lady. (Or man…) Once I got some practice, things got easier. I had TOTALLY promised myself that today would be a veggie day. I was prepared! I had a plan! I was making roasted tomatoes and zucchini parmesan. I had a grocery list.

And then I went to Whole Foods to shop. The Copper River Salmon was back after a three day outage and it was on sale for $14.99. I mean, it would be fiscally IRRESPONSIBLE of me not to purchase it. It's delicious and it's healthy and it's just so amazing! So I sort of fell off the veggie bandwagon there, if we will. 

I still planned on making the rest of the meal as planned. Yet as I was slicing and salting (to remove the moisture) the zucchini I thought about how tasty this might be with the teensy eensy addition of sausage. So I did it. And it was worth it. If you want to make this recipe vegetarian, simply leave out the sausage. I also think it would be mighty tasty with sautéed mushrooms instead of the sausage. I'll try that soon. Because believe me, I'm making this again soon. : ) 

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Ingredients:

  • 5 zucchini, sliced thinly (I used a mandoline, but you could also cut them 1/4 - 1/3 inch thick)
  • 2/3 pound sausage (2 links) 
  • 1 tbsp capers, roughly chopped 
  • 1 jar Arrabiata Sauce 
  • 16 oz mozzarella, shredded 
  • 1/2 bunch basil  
  • 1/2 bunch oregano  
  • 1/3 cup shredded Parmesan 
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Put the Zucchini in a large strainer with 2 tbsp of salt an toss around to coat. (This removes the excess moisture in the squash, which helps keep the dish from sliding apart.) Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. 

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Take the sausage out of the casing and sauté. Toss in the chopped capers. 

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Squeeze the excess water and salt from each zucchini slice. 

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Dry on paper towels, 

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Start assembling the pan with the sauce. 

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Next, layer the zucchini. 

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Sprinkle on the shredded mozzarella and sausage. 

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Sprinkle on layers of oregano leaves and torn basil leaves. Continue the layers. 

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End the baking dish with a layer of zucchini and mozzarella topped with the parmesan. 

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Bake in the middle rack for 35 minutes. 

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Garnish the baked zucchini parm with more torn herb leaves and serve. Try not to burn your mouth (like I did because it smelled SOO good!).

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