Turkey Stuffed Eggplant Boats

Turkey Stuffed Eggplant
1 hour 15 minutes to prepare serves 4-6

INGREDIENTS
3-4 small eggplants
1 lb ground turkey
1 1/2 cups Pecorino Romano cheese
1 medium tomato, chopped
1 small onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 egg, beaten
4 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons tomato paste
2 teaspoons dried basil
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1-2 teaspoons red chili flake (optional)
Kosher salt and fresh ground pepper, to taste

PREPARATION
Preheat oven to 350°F and set aside a baking dish. (8×12-inch would work well.)
Cut the eggplants in half lengthwise and scoop out the centers, taking care to leave enough of the insides intact that the eggplant will hold its shape when baked. Finely chop the eggplant you’ve scooped out. Arrange the eggplant halves in the baking dish.
Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large pan over medium heat. Add the onions, tomato, and chopped eggplant, and sauté until the onion becomes soft and translucent, 6-8 minutes. Add garlic and tomato paste and cook 2 minutes more. Remove vegetables to a large bowl to cool.
Add remaining olive oil to skillet and then the ground turkey. Season with salt and pepper, basil, oregano, and chili flake (if using) and cook until turkey is browned, breaking up the meat with a wooden spoon as it cooks. Remove from heat.
Once turkey has cooled slightly, add it to the bowl of vegetables along with the beaten egg and 1/2 cup of the cheese. Season with additional salt and pepper as needed.
Spoon mixture into the eggplant halves and top with remaining cheese. Bake until cheese has melted and eggplant is soft, about 50 minutes. Let cool 5 minutes before serving. Enjoy!

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