All in the FamilyPosted: August 15, 2012
This past weekend I went home to Texas. As far as my parents were concerned, it was just a summertime visit where we’d eat and drink and get plenty of pool time. But secretly, my brother and I had organized a surprise 40th wedding anniversary party for them. (Well, he did most of the heavy lifting since he lives down there.) We invited all of their friends, our neighbors and as an extra special surprise, my aunt, uncle and cousins flew down too. I was a little stressed getting them out of the house on Saturday afternoon, but it all worked out and the party was a great success! Since my relatives were in town, that meant more family time on Sunday. It was the first time in a many years that we were all together, and it was awesome. Even in our 30s, it’s still fun to splash around in the pool with your brother and cousins.
Anyway, long story short, being together made me realize (remember?) what a great family I have and all the years of happy memories, funny stories … and great food. My cousin and aunt kept talking about this zucchini casserole they’ve been making all summer. It’s fitting, because it seems a lot like our family. There’s some Italian sausage (that would be for my Dad’s side of the family), plenty of summer veggies so everybody gets what they like, and some wine, which I’ve added to my version because there’s always wine or beer or booze flowing when we get together. And since nobody likes to wait a long time to eat, this casserole is quick and easy, and needs only 1 skillet.
Zucchini & Sausage Skillet Casserole
– 1 lb (4 links) of sweet or hot Italian sausage, casings removed
– 2 carrots, thinly sliced
– 1 small zucchini, thinly sliced
– 1 small yellow summer squash, thinly sliced
– 1 medium onion, diced
– 5 Roma tomatoes, diced
– ½ lb of green beans, blanched and chopped
– 1 teaspoon of Italian seasoning
– ½ teaspoon of cumin seeds
– Cracked red pepper
– ¼ cup of white wine
– 1 tablespoon of grated Pecorino Romano
– Salt and pepper
– Olive oil
In a large cast-iron skillet, heat a tablespoon of olive oil over medium heat. Add the sausage, breaking it into pieces, and cook until brown. Add the onion, carrots, zucchini and squash, season to taste with a little salt and pepper, and cook until the veggies are soft, about 12 minutes. Add the tomatoes, green beans, Italian seasoning, cumin seeds, white wine and season to taste with pepper and cracked red pepper. Cover and let simmer about 15 to 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Off heat, stir in a tablespoon or so of cheese. Let cool slightly and then eat.
I just had to include a picture of my parents, since they’re the reason we all got together last weekend. Aren’t they cute cutting the cake together? Happy 40th! Love you guys!