I made this dish last year for the first time and based it on a recipe I found at SmittenKitchen.com.
3 Ronde de Nice squash (large zucchini cut in half lengthwise may be substituted for the Ronde de Nice.)
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 onion, finely chopped
1 clove of garlic, minced
1/2 pound lean ground beef
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/4 teaspoon dried basil
1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 cup tomato sauce
1/2 cup breadcrumbs
Salt and Seasoned Pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 300 degrees. If necessary, cut a small slice from the bottom of the Ronde de Nice squash so that they sit flat. Cut off the top about 2 inches from the stem end, leaving a nice wide hole. Using a spoon, scoop out the insides leaving a 1/4-inch thick wall of squash on all sides. Trim the top of the squash. Set the squash flesh aside. Season the inside of each squash with salt and turn upside down onto a plate. (The salt will draw out the moisture.)
In a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium-low heat. Add the onion and garlic and cook until tender. Add the ground beef, raise the heat to medium and cook, stirring often to break up the meat, until it is no longer pink.
Finely chop the reserved squash flesh and add it to the onion-beef mixture with the oregano, basil, thyme and a little salt and Seasoned Pepper to taste. Cook uncovered, stirring occasionally, until the squash is tender, about 5 minutes. Add the tomato sauce and bread crumbs and cook for one minute longer.
Turn the squash right-side up and stuff them with the filling. Place them in a baking dish sprayed with a little non-stick spray and add about 1/2-inch of water to the pan.
Cover the dish tightly with foil. Bake until the squash is tender when pierced with a knife, about 45 to 50 minutes. Remove the foil, raise the oven temperature to 400 degrees, sprinkle the squash with some grated cheese and continue baking until the cheese has browned.
I hope you try growing these delightful little squash for yourself next year!
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