I’m always looking for quick recipes to make during the week, mostly because I am lazy and hungry at the end of a day and all I want to do is stuff my pie hole and watch bad tv….So now that my slothful habits have been revealed for all to admire or mock, here’s a recipe I found from Epicurious that is speedy and screams out for experimentation. The original recipe can be found here, and includes things like eggplant, but since I like to tinker with recipes, here is what I used:
* 2 packages of chicken sausage (instead of the Sweet Italian sausage) – if you want to make this vegetarian, substitute in veggie chorizo or veggie ground round. Go wild with whatever you prefer.
* 1 large zucchini, chopped into pieces
* 1 red pepper, diced
* chopped broccoli – approximately 3 small crowns
* 1 medium onion, diced
* 1 serrano pepper, chopped
* basil leaves, torn – approximately 1/4 cup
* 2 cloves of garlic, minced
* 1 can diced tomatoes
* fresh black pepper, crushed red pepper
* cheese – I used a mozza/cheddar combo
Preheat oven to 350F. In a large saute pan or a Dutch oven (both work, Dutch oven ensures nothing falls onto the stove top), heat about 1 Tbsp olive oil and then saute the chicken sausage or whatever sausage substitute you are using. Just remember to remove sausage from the casings 🙂 Saute until it is almost cooked all the way through and place cooked sausage in a bowl.
Next add in the fiesta of vegetables and saute until tender, adding pepper because it’s fun to play with pepper grinders! This will depend upon your stove – mine seems to take its sweet time. After the veggies are tender, add in the cooked sausage, a can of drained, diced tomatoes (experiment with which type you like – fire roasted, low sodium, spicy), and torn basil leaves. Add in extra spice as desired with crushed red peppers. Let this lovely mixture simmer for a few minutes.
Now the fun part – taking this nommy mixture and placing it in a large ceramic baking dish. I honestly don’t know the measurements of mine, but it can hold a fair bit and it’s French, so it’s very chic 🙂 Cover with a layer of shredded cheese if you desire and bake in the oven for approximately 15-20 minutes. Serve over rice or something equally carbolicious.
The beauty of this recipe is that you can go wild with whatever veggies you wish to include and it is very simple to make it vegetarian or vegan. I’ve also discovered it is an excellent way to use up, not only leftover veggies, but leftover rice : place a layer of leftover rice in the bottom of the baking dish before placing the sausage/veggie mixture on top, then bake as before.
Before I forget to mention, be careful when handling serrano peppers. Despite hand washing, the heat can remain on your skin – and it will burn baby burn when you touch your eyes! Trust me on that one 🙂