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Author Notes: Round squash are one of those ingredients that call my name when I see them. I used to stuff them with goat cheese and herbs, but now with a little guy in the house I find they are more popular with pizza-like ingredients. —Lori Lyn Narlock
Makes 4 stuffed squash
- 1/4 pound pancetta, cut into 1/4-inch dice
- 4 baseball-size globe squash
- 1/4 cup finely diced red onion
- 1/2 cup precooked marinara or tomato sauce
- 1/2 cup dried bread crumbs
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh oregano
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
- 1 1/2 cups grated mozzarella cheese
- Preheat the oven to 375°F.
- Put the pancetta in a skillet and cook over low heat for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Cut the tops off the squash and using a paring knife cut in a circle to remove a cone shaped piece of the pulp. Using a small round spoon, scoop out the remainder pulp, leaving the sides 1/4-inch thick. Be careful not to cut through the sides or press to hard and break them. (If using long zucchini, cut in half lengthwise and scoop out the center to create a canoe-like container.) Chop the pulp into a coarse mixture and set aside.
- Increase the heat slightly under the pancetta to medium-low and add the onion. Cook for 5 minutes until the onion is translucent. Stir in the zucchini and cook for 5 minutes. Increase the heat to high and cook until any liquid evaporates, about 2 minutes. Transfer to a bowl and let cool slightly.
- Add the marinara and breadcrumbs to the pancetta mixture. Stir in the oregano, salt and pepper. When completely cool, stir in the mozzarella.
- Divide the filling among the squash. Arrange in a small baking dish and bake until the squash is tender, 45 to 50 minutes for Gem squash, about 30 minutes for Ronde de Nice or zucchini. Let sit for about 5 minutes before serving. Serve with the crushed red pepper.
- This recipe was entered in the contest for Your Best Dish with Meat as a Flavoring