Ratatouille-Stuffed Onions

6 large onions, cut in half crosswise
1 1/2 cups finely chopped bell pepper
3/4 cup peeled and finely chopped eggplant
3/4 cup finely chopped zucchini
3/4 cup thinly sliced fresh mushrooms
4 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup olive oil
1 1/2 cups peeled, seeded and chopped tomato
1/2 cup dry white wine
1/4 cup tomato paste
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme leaves, crumbled
1/3 cup pine nuts, toasted
2 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Cut a thin slice from the bottom of onion halves, if necessary, for onions to sit upright. Scoop out onions, leaving a 1/2-inch-thick shell. Chop onion centers to measure 1 1/2 cups; reserve remaining onion for another use. Place onion shells, upright, in a 13-by-9-by-2-inch baking dish; add hot water to dish to a depth of 1 inch.

Bake, covered, at 400 degrees F. for 35 minutes or until tender. Remove shells, drain, and keep warm.

Cook reserved 1 1/2 cups chopped onion, bell pepper, eggplant, zucchini, mushrooms and garlic in oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat, stirring constantly, 3 minutes or until tender. Add tomato, wine, tomato paste, salt, pepper, and thyme; bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Reduce heat, and simmer, stirring often, 12 minutes, or until most of liquid has evaporated. Remove from heat; stir in 3 tablespoons pine nuts.

Spoon vegetable mixture evenly into onion shells; sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and remaining pine nuts.

Serve immediately.

12 servings.




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