The idea for this one came from my sous chef! He and my wife built an incredible garden, and a few days ago, we harvested two GIANT zucchinis (together, they weighed 5 lbs). He suggested Stuffing the Zucchini, and the ideas started to flow. We decided that we should load our boats up with a nutritionally balanced cargo load, so we concocted a mixture of whole wheat Spaghetti, ground meat, and veggies to stuff our zucchini serving vessel. When we took these babies out of the oven, they looked really pretty…and they smelled great! And in the end, they tasted halfway decent as well!
As a bonus, this gave us a great excuse to open up some of the Canned Tomatoes my wife’s grandparents gave us last fall (not that we need an excuse to do that)!
Lastly, I can’t take credit for the name pun. A friend came up with that…and it was too good to not steal (with permission).
Time: 60 Minutes
- Large Zucchini
- Ground meat of your choice
- Canned Diced Tomatoes (or pre-made Tomato Sauce)
- A little sugar or honey
- Parmesan or Mozzarella Cheese
- Optional: Red Pepper Flakes
- Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F, line a baking sheet with foil, and prep your zucchini:
- Cut the stem and bottom off
- Slice in half longways
- Use a spoon to scoop out the seeds and form your “bowls”
- Place your zucchini in the oven, and allow it to cook and soften while you focus on the filling
- Work on your filling:
- Begin to heat a pot of water with a little olive oil and salt (for your pasta), and bring it to a boil.
- As your water heats, dice your garlic, onion, and eggplant.
- Heat some olive oil in a large pan, and add your garlic, onion, and eggplant. Sprinkle in some oregano and basil, and sauté until all of your veggies soften. If using red pepper flakes, sprinkle them in during this step as well.
- Add your ground meat to the pan, and cook until it’s fully cooked through, and the liquid that renders evaporates.
- Pour in your canned tomatoes or tomato sauce, and stir to combine with your meat and veggies. If using canned tomatoes, add in a little sugar or honey too to cut the acidity.
- Place your spaghetti in your water, and cook until it’s soft.
- When your spaghetti is ready, and your tomato sauce has thickened a bit, scoop your spaghetti into the meat/veggie pan, and stir to combine.
- Putting it all together:
- Pull your zucchini from the oven
- Scoop your meat/veggie/spaghetti mixture into your zucchini bowls
- Sprinkle your parmesan cheese (or mozzarella) atop your laden boats
- Stash back in the oven to heat everything back up and melt your cheese
- Plate, devour, and enjoy!