4 medium zucchini (2 1/2 lbs), sliced into halves through the length*
1 cup (8.6 oz) part-skim ricotta cheese
1 large egg
1 1/2 Tbsp chopped fresh parsley, plus more for garnish
1 1/4 cups (5 oz) shredded mozzarella cheese
1/2 cup (2 oz) finely shredded parmesan cheese
8 oz 93% lean ground beef or lean ground turkey
4 tsp olive oil, divided
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 3/4 cup roasted garlic marinara sauce (I used Classico)
1 Tbsp chopped fresh basil, plus more for garnish
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Using a spoon, scoop centers from zucchini while leaving a 1/4-inch rim to create boats. Set aside.
In a mixing bowl stir together ricotta cheese, egg and 1 1/2 Tbsp of the parsley. Season lightly with salt and pepper. Stir in 1/2 cup of the mozzarella cheese and the parmesan cheese. Set aside.
Heat 2 tsp of the olive oil in a large non-stick skillet over medium-high heat. Crumble beef into pan, season with salt and pepper and cook, stirring occasionally and breaking up beef when stirring, until browned (there shouldn’t be any excess fat but if you happened to use a fattier beef then just drain excess rendered fat). Stir in marinara sauce and 1 Tbsp of the basil, remove from heat.
To assemble boats, brush both sides of of zucchini lightly with remaining 2 tsp olive oil and place in two baking pans (I used a 13 by 9 and a 9 by 9). Divide cheese mixture among zucchini spooning about 2 1/2 Tbsp into each, then spread cheese mixture into and even layer. Divide sauce among zucchini adding a few heaping spoonfuls to each. Cover baking dishes with foil and place in oven side by side and bake in preheated oven 30 minutes. Remove from oven, sprinkle tops with remaining 3/4 cup mozzarella, return to oven and bake until cheese has melted and zucchini is tender, about 5 minutes. Sprinkle tops with with fresh basil and parsley and serve warm.
*Look for zucchini that is wider and more uniform in width. The skinnier zucchini won’t fit much filling.
Recipe source: Cooking Classy