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Sausage and Zucchini Casserole

2 tb Olive oil; (up to 3)
1 1/2 lb Ground chuck
1 lb Hot or mild Italian sausage
3 Zucchini; (cut into 1/2-inch cubes)
4 Garlic cloves; (chopped)
1 Onion; (sliced)
1 c Long-grain rice
1 cn (14 1/2-oz) whole tomatoes (chopped)
2 ts Fennel seed
1/2 ts Red pepper flakes
1 tb Finely chopped fresh basil
1 tb Finely chopped fresh rosemary
Salt black pepper to taste
3 c Chicken broth or stock
1 c Freshly grated Parmesan cheese


Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Heat the oil in a large 5-quart Dutch oven. Add the ground chuck and sausage. Brown. Drain and set aside. Saute the zucchini, garlic, and onion in the dutch oven with hot oil until soft and translucent. Add the rice and cook until opaque, about 2 minutes. Add the tomatoes, fennel, red pepper flakes, basil, rosemary, salt, pepper, and chicken broth. Heat thoroughly or until just to the boil. Stir in the meat. Transfer to a rectangular baking dish. Top with some Parmesan cheese and bake for 1 hour.


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