Zucchini and Summer Squash Boats with Lentil Ragu
Zucchini Boats with Ragu
This easy-to-make dish is a lifesaver. I usually keep baggies filled with one to two cups of cooked lentils in the freezer for improvised meals, such as this one.
3-4 zucchinis or summer squashes
1 cup cooked lentils; we use the common green lentil
1 cup ground meat
2 TBSP OO
1/4 cup chopped white onion
2 garlic cloves, mashed
1 1/2 teaspoon dried Italian herb mix ( oregano, thyme, rosemary mix)
1-14 ounce can of roasted diced tomatoes, with liquid
1 teaspoon tomato paste
1/4 cup mozzarella, grated
1/4 cup of Parmesan cheese
Salt and Pepper to taste
If you do not have the lentils pre-cook, follow the package directions, take one cup of dried lentils, rinse, and add two cups of boiling salted water.
Cook al dente for 20 minutes.
While the lentils cook, cut each zucchini in half lengthwise. Scoop the seeds and flesh with a spoon. Set aside. You will use the insides as part of the filling.
In a mid-size saucepan, add the oil. When oil begins to shimmer, add the onions and garlic. Cook until the onion is translucent but not brown.
Add the tomato paste and blend with the onions and garlic mixture.
Brown the meat and allow it to sweat.
Incorporate the herbs, salt, and Pepper.
Add the cooked lentils and blend in the mixture.
Finish the mixture with the tomatoes and their liquids. Turn and incorporate all of the ingredients.
Lower the heat, cover, and cook for about half an hour.
Remove the lid and allow liquids to dry.
Place mixture in a bowl and allow it to cool off.
Once the mixture has cooled off, fill each squash with the mixture and top with mozzarella and Parmesan.
Turn the oven to 350 degrees.
Bake zucchini boats for about 20 minutes.
Enjoy this dish with buttered pasta and, like always, in good company.