Zucchini Boats with Sausage & Brown Basmati Rice
1 1/2 cups cooked brown Basmati rice
1 tsp. butter (optional)
4 large zucchini
1 Tbs oil
6-oz sausage, casing removed (I used breakfast sausage; Sweet or hot Italian sausage or other favorite will work too)
1 large onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, chopped
1 Tbs white wine
2 medium tomatoes, seeded, chopped and blotted dry
salt ( 1 tsp) and pepper (1/2 tsp) or to taste
1 tsp. fresh thyme
2 Tbs fresh basil
1/3 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
3-oz fresh Mozzarella cheese, thinly sliced
pasta tomato sauce for serving (optional)
While rice is cooking, wash and trim just a bit of the end of zucchini leaving stem end intact. Slice in half lengthwise; scoop out pulp. Chopped pulp and set aside. Place shells into 9x13-inch baking dish. (I had to use an additional baking dish to hold all eight shells)
Heat pan to med-high heat. Add oil and sausage; cooked until browned.
Add chopped onions; cook until onion is softened. Add garlic and cook another minute.
Add splash of wine, zucchini pulp, tomatoes salt and pepper, thyme and snipped basil. Cook a few minutes over med-high heat until most of the liquid is reduced. Remove from heat; cool slightly.
Stir in Parmesan cheese and the cooked rice.
Spoon filling into zucchini shells. Top with fresh Mozzarella.
Bake in preheated 350 degree oven for 45 minutes.
Serve with tomato sauce on the side, if desired.