I just love to say, zapallito! Zappallitos are a South American squash. You could easily make this with large zucchini or acorn squash.
6 medium zapallitos
1 tbsp olive oil
1/4 cup chopped red bell pepper
1/4 cup chopped onion
1/4 cup chopped celery
2 cloves garlic, minced
dash of crushed red pepper flakes
1 egg, slightly beaten
2 tbsp fresh chopped parsley
1/2 c frozen green peas, thawed
2/3 cup hamburger meat or crumbled sausage, cooked and drained
1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
1/2 cup cooked rice
- Carefully cut top off zapallitos, then replace. Put zapallitos on a greased cookie sheet and bake at 350 degrees until they are just tender, but not thoroughly cooked. You want them to hold their shape. When finished, cool to room temperature. Cut off tops, but keep them to place on the zapallitos while they cook! Scoop out about 3/4 of the pulp, draining and reserving for later. Turn zapallitos upside down on paper towels to drain thoroughly.
- Heat olive oil in a skillet. Cook bell pepper and onions until wilted. Remove from pan place in a bowl.
- In the same skillet, brown hamburger meat, adding crushed red pepper and minced garlic near the end of cooking. Drain and add to bowl with onion/pepper mix. Stir in hamburger meat and drained zapallito pulp. (I usually leave out the zapallito pulp, as it seems to make this too mushy!) Stir in the beaten egg, chopped parsley, green peas, and rice.
- Place in a greased 8" square baking pan or larger, if necessary.
- Stuff drained zapallitos with the filling mixture. Sprinkle with cheese on top. Replace tops on zapallitos.
- Cook in 350 degree oven for about 30 minutes or until done.
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