ORZO STUFFED ZUCCHINI BOATS

ORZO STUFFED ZUCCHINI BOATS

1 pound Orzo, Ditalini, or other small pasta shape, uncooked
8 medium zucchini (5-inch)
3 tablespoons olive oil
OR
3 tablespoons vegetable oil, divided
2 cups carrots, shredded
1 cup fresh mushrooms, sliced
1/2 cup scallions, white and green parts, sliced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 1/2 cups turkey ham, chopped
1/4 cup honey mustard
1 tablespoon fresh basil, chopped
OR
1 teaspoon dried basil
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 cup Swiss cheese, finely shredded

  1. Prepare pasta according to package directions. Cook zucchini in boiling water 4 minutes or until crisp-tender; drain. Cut in half lengthwise. Scoop out centers, leaving a 1/4-inch shell; set aside. Chop centers, reserving 1 cup for filling.

  2. Cook carrots, mushrooms, scallions and garlic in 2 tablespoons oil in large skillet over medium heat 3 minutes. Stir in turkey ham and reserved chopped cooked zucchini. Cook 1 minute.

  3. Drain pasta. Place in large mixing bowl. Stir in honey mustard, basil, salt, pepper and remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil; mix well. Add vegetable and ham mixture; toss until combined.

  4. Preheat oven to 375ºF. Fill each zucchini shell with 1/2 cup pasta mixture. Sprinkle each with 1 tablespoon cheese. Bake on cookie sheet 8 to 10 minutes or until cheese is melted and filling is hot. Serve immediately. Garnish with fresh basil leaves, if desired.