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One last summer dish before going pumpkin

Matthew Carroll • Oct 14, 2015 at 1:00 PM

It might seem a little odd to say goodbye to summer in the middle of October, but trust me on this one and enjoy one last summer dish before everything goes pumpkin.

Between modern agriculture giving fresh produce year-round and Tennessee having 75-degree days up through the end of October, I do not believe my late last hurrah is so outlandish.

Lasagna Stuffed Zucchini

4 medium zucchinis
1 bunch fresh spinach
1 Tbsp. fresh oregano (I used Italian herb mix)
12 oz. part-skim ricotta
¼ cup plus 2 Tbsp. Parmesan cheese
1 egg
¼ tsp. red pepper flakes (optional)
1 tsp. kosher salt, divided
Fresh ground black pepper
1 jar marinara sauce
½ cup shredded mozzarella or Italian blend cheese
Olive oil

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

Wash the zucchinis; cut them each in half and scoop out the insides with a spoon.

Chop the spinach; place it in a dry skillet and cook it down for a few minutes until wilted.

In a medium bowl, mix ricotta cheese, ¼ cup Parmesan cheese, egg, red pepper flakes, Italian herbs, ½ teaspoon kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper. Stir well.

Place the zucchini halves in a baking dish and lightly drizzle with olive oil, then sprinkle with kosher salt and pepper. Fill each half with spinach, then the cheese mixture, then top with marinara sauce, shredded mozzarella cheese and additional Parmesan cheese.

Cover with foil and bake for 15 minutes covered, then 5 minutes uncovered (depending on the size of the zucchini; smaller zucchini may need less time). Let stand a few minutes before serving.

Serve with a glass of bright red summer wine, wave goodbye, then go try to remember in which drawer the sweaters live.

Johnson City’s Matthew Carroll is a community columnist for the Kingsport Times-News.

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