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Primo Stuffed Zucchini

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This isn’t the first time I’ve made stuffed zucchini.

But it is the tastiest time I’ve made stuffed zucchini.

This is another little meal that I made last week, as part of my last-minute summer goal fulfillment.

I just now realized that the last time I made these was almost exactly a year ago. I posted about them on August 14, 2010. It’s now August 11, 2011. My, how the photos have changed. (Seriously. Take a little look-see at the photos in the old post.)

I made these last time for a good-bye dinner with our good friend Tyler, who was headed off to Scotland to attend vet school.

I’ve known Tyler since the summer before his senior year of high school. We worked together several summers as camp counselors. Here we are below during a building trip in Mexico. We thought we were super fierce.And now, he’s in his 2nd year of vet school. Love to you Tyler! I miss you mucho.

Making these stuffed zucchini was reminiscent of that good-bye dinner with my friend.

It is the perfect summer dinner – quick and easy, full of flavor, and fabulous whether you are saying hello, good-bye, or see you soon.

I made the zucchini and the pasta much differently than I did last time, but you can check out the original recipe here, if you like.


4 zucchini, peeled

½ lb. spicy Italian sausage, or 3 links of Italian sausage, removed from casings

1 cup panko breadcrumbs

1/2 cup grated mozzarella cheese

3 cloves garlic, pressed

1/2 yellow onion, finely chopped

2 tbs. olive oil, divided

1/2 tbs. salt

1 tsp. freshly ground black pepper

6 sprigs fresh oregano, about 2 tbs., or 1 tbs. dried oregano, plus extra for garnishing


½ lb. orzo pasta

3 tbs. olive oil

1 tbs. salt

1 tsp. freshly ground black pepper


Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a medium sauce pan, bring water to boil. Once water reaches boiling, add 1 tbs. salt and ½ tbs. oil. Add pasta. Cook according to package directions, approx. 5 minutes. Drain pasta in a colander. Return pasta to pot, then drizzle lightly with olive oil and sprinkle lightly with salt. Stir with a fork to combine.

Heat a medium skillet over medium heat. Brown sausage, breaking apart with your spatula as it cooks.

Once the sausage is entirely browned, remove with a slotted spoon, but keep pan over medium heat. Add 2 tbs. olive oil, then add onion. Season with 1 tsp. salt and sauté for 5 minutes, or until onions are fragrant and lightly golden brown. Add garlic and saute 1 more minutes, until fragrant.

While onions saute, slice zucchinis in half lengthwise. Use a spoon to scoop out a well down the center of each zucchini half. Arrange on a foil-lined baking sheet.

In a medium bowl, combine browned sausage, onion mixture, panko, mozzarella, and oregano.Mix well, then pile spoonfuls of the mixture into the hollowed out center of the zucchinis.

Place zucchinis on top rack of oven. Allow to bake for 5 minutes, then turn broiler on high and broil for about 4 minutes, until the panko is browned and crisp. Remove from oven. Scoop 1/2 cup orzo on each plate and top with two stuffed zucchini halves. Sprinkle with remaining oregano.

Serve and enjoy! These zucchinis are delicious with a glass of cool water, but I would especially recommend enjoying them with a glass of light white wine. The flavors are outstanding together!