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posted: 7/31/2012 6:00 AM

Stuffed Zucchini Baked Italian Style with Ground Beef and Fresh Herbs

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  • Cook of the Week Lynn Dugan of Glen Ellyn with stuffed baked zucchini.

      Cook of the Week Lynn Dugan of Glen Ellyn with stuffed baked zucchini.
    Bev Horne | Staff Photographer


3 large zucchini

2 slices roasted tomatoes, chopped

1 pound lean ground beef

cup seasoned bread crumbs

cup grated parmesan cheese

1 cup canned tomato sauce

2 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped

1 teaspoon fresh oregano leaves, chopped

Salt and freshly ground pepper

Heat oven to 350 degrees.

Cut zucchini lengthwise and place in microwave-safe dish. Add water to 1 inch deep, cover. Microwave on high until zucchini is tender, 4-6 minutes.

Meanwhile, brown ground beef in large pan. Drain.

When zucchini is done, carve out seeds and soft flesh; chop and add to ground beef. Place hollow zucchini shells onto baking sheet.

To the beef/zucchini mixture, add roasted tomatoes, bread crumbs, Parmesan, tomato sauce, herbs; mix well. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.

Divide evenly and fill zucchini shells with mixture. Bake for 30 minutes.

Serves six.

Cook's note: To roast tomatoes: Heat oven to 400 degrees. Slice raw tomatoes in half. Remove the seeds (use your thumb or a teaspoon to dig out the seeds). Place halves on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Drizzle olive oil over tomatoes and season with salt and pepper, dried herbs and minced garlic. Toss to coat. Turn halves cut side up and roast in center of oven for 25-35 minutes. Fire roasted canned tomatoes can be used as a substitute (about 1 cup).

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