Baked Zucchini with Italian Meat Sauce

Baked Zucchini with Italian Meat Sauce

Baked Zucchini with Italian Meat Sauce, excerpted from Mangiamo by Mark Perlioni and Angela Persicke. Page Street Publishing Co. 2022. Photo credit: Angela Persicke.

Mangiamo by Mark Perlioni and Angela Persicke.From delicious homemade pasta to spot-on risottos to fan favourite gelato, bring the best dishes of Italy to your own kitchen with the help of Italian-American chef Mark Perlioni and Angela Persicke’s standout recipes.

Mark’s journey to reconnect with his Italian roots and lifelong love of cooking combine for delicious results―like Sweet Potato Gnocchi with Rosemary Garlic Brown Butter Sauce, Italian Sausage Lasagna and Chianti Braised Beef with Creamy Cheese and Spinach Polenta. Foundational recipes for pasta dough, homemade sauces and condiments and more level up into full meal showstoppers that you’ll find yourself making again and again.

Inspiration from Mark’s family recipes, trips to Italy and experimentation in Mark and Angela’s home kitchen help favourites like Chicken Piccata with Lemon Caper Butter Sauce, Lemon Parmesan Orzo, Italian Wedding Soup and Hazelnut Tiramisu blend the best of tradition with new innovations for restaurant-quality meals sure to please a crowd.

Whether you’re looking to explore your own Italian heritage in the kitchen or you simply love Italian cuisine, this is your one stop shop for delicious, satisfying meals right in your own home.

Mangiamo: Incredible Italian Dishes Inspired by a Couple’s Roots and Travels Paperback  is available at and    

Baked Zucchini with Italian Meat Sauce

This one-pot dish is a great way to use an abundance of zucchini when it is in season. This makes quite a bit, but it is exceptional when reheated the next day or two! It works great as a stand-alone dish or can be served with pasta for a heartier meal.

Serves: 8-10

1 lb (454 g) hot Italian sausage, casing removed

1 lb (454 g) ground beef

1 large (10-oz [283-g]) onion, chopped

1 (28-oz [794-g]) can whole peeled tomatoes, with juice

1 (6-oz [170-g]) can tomato paste

1 (15-oz [425-g]) can tomato sauce

1 (15-oz [425-g]) can diced tomatoes, with juice

2 tbsp (4 g) dried oregano

2 tsp (3 g) garlic powder

2 tsp (2 g) black pepper

1 tsp kosher salt

2 lb (907 g) zucchini, sliced ¼–1/3″(6–8 mm) thick

1 cup (100 g) grated Parmesan cheese

Crusty Italian bread or pasta, for serving (optional)

Add the sausage and beef to a large oven-safe Dutch oven or braiser and begin to brown over medium-high to high heat. Cook for 4 to 5 minutes, until the fat starts to render, then add the onion. Continue to cook until the meat is browned and the onion is translucent. This should take 5 to 8 minutes. Stir occasionally to ensure the meat and onion are evenly cooking and break up the meat as you go.

At this point, you can preheat the oven to 375°F (190°C) while you finish the sauce.

Turn the heat to medium and add the whole peeled tomatoes, tomato paste, tomato sauce, diced tomatoes, oregano, garlic powder, pepper and salt to the pot. Cook this down for 15 to 20 minutes, allowing the tomatoes to break down and the sauce to thicken. Taste for seasoning and adjust if necessary, but do not oversalt as you will add Parmesan towards the end.

Once the sauce has thickened, add the zucchini and stir thoroughly. Turn the heat to high for 3 to 4 minutes and then sprinkle with the Parmesan.

Next, place the entire dish, uncovered, in the oven and let it cook for 25 to 30 minutes, or until the zucchini is tender. Serve alone, with crusty Italian bread or with pasta.

Reprinted with permission from Mangiamo by Mark Perlioni and Angela Persicke. Page Street Publishing Co. 2022. Photo credit: Angela Persicke.

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