Basil Zucchini Boats

2 medium zucchini (about 1 pound)
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup diced sweet red pepper
1/2 cup frozen tiny English peas, thawed
1 clove garlic, crushed
1 to 2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
6 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled
Fresh basil sprigs (optional)

Preheat oven to 350F then broil. Cut zucchini in half lengthwise. Scoop out pulp, leaving shells intact; chop pulp. Place zucchini shells, cut side down, in a shallow baking dish. Add 1/2 cup water to baking dish. Cover and bake at 350F for 8 minutes or until zucchini shells are crisp tender. Drain well; return shells, cut side up, to baking dish. Saute zucchini pulp, sweet red pepper, peas and garlic in olive oil over medium high heat just until sweet red pepper is crisp-tender. Remove from heat. Stir in chopped fresh basil. Spoon vegetable mixture evenly into zucchini shells. Sprinkle evenly with Parmesan cheese. Broil 6 inches from heat 45 seconds to 1 minute or until thoroughly heated. Sprinkle with bacon. Garnish with fresh basil sprigs, if desired. Serve immediately.

Serves 4.

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Cajun Country -- New Iberia, Louisiana