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Stuffed Zucchini

Stuffed Zucchini

Husband doesn’t care for Ms. Giada de Laurentiis from Food Network (who’s coming out with a new weeknight cookbook by the way this March which I’m excited to check out).  He gets all agro with the way she puts her Italian flare on words….Bruschetta, Pancetta, Parmeseano, etc…  (between you and I husband puts an Italian flare on words too, but his are done with a Jersey accent.  I’m not sure why it’s ok for him and not for Giada).  I say:  You go Giada!  If I was a fricken hotty Italian chick, born in Rome, who had my own cooking show I’d Italian up all my words and be “like in your face hateraters I’m smokin’ hot Giada and I’ll do whateva I want”.

Anyhow, I digress……Husband had made an amazing 14 lb brisket before the holidays.  Yes, you read that correctly, 14 lbs.  There was a small cow in my fridge for a few days before it got cooked.  We had some peeps over, ate a large amount, but still had a lot leftover.  Therefore, I ate brisket for 3 days straight.  After which, I vowed to get off red meat for a minute.  I tend to do that to myself, overindulge on cow, and am left not wanting if for a long period of time.  So anyhoo, I decided to re-group and make a white meat dish.  I found this Stuffed Zucchini and Red Bell Peppers a few years back and I’ve made it several times. I found that I’m not real big on the bell peppers so I only use zucchini, but do whatever floats your little boat.  I also added some shredded mozzarella cheese at the end and baked for 5 minutes more.  I find that a saucy Italian dish is just so much more fab when it’s got some oozy cheese on top of it.  Hey, that’s just me kids.  It’s a real easy recipe, great for picky eaters and it’s wonderful for leftovers.  Mangia!

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 small onion, grated
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh Italian parsley leaves
  • 1 large egg
  • 3 tablespoons ketchup
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/3 cup grated Pecorino Romano
  • 1/4 cup dried plain bread crumbs
  • 1 pound ground turkey, preferably dark meat
  • 2 zucchini, ends removed, halved lengthwise and crosswise
  • 1 short orange bell pepper, halved and seeded
  • 1 short red bell pepper, halved and seeded
  • 1 short yellow bell pepper, halved and seeded
  • 1 1/2 cups marinara sauce

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

Lightly drizzle the olive oil into a 13 by 9 by 2-inch baking dish. Whisk the onion, parsley, egg, ketchup, garlic, salt, and pepper in a large bowl to blend. Stir in the cheese and bread crumbs. Mix in the turkey. Cover and refrigerate the turkey mixture.

Using melon baller or spoon, carefully scrape out the seeds and inner flesh from the zucchini, leaving 1/8-inch-thick shells. Be careful not to pierce through the skin. Fill the zucchini and pepper halves with the turkey mixture, dividing equally and mounding slightly. Arrange the stuffed vegetables in the baking dish. Pour the marinara sauce over the stuffed vegetables.

Bake uncovered until the vegetables are tender and beginning to brown and a thermometer inserted into the filling registers 165 degrees F, about 45 minutes. Transfer the stuffed vegetables to a platter and serve.

 

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