Monday, 8 June 2009
Zucchine ripiene - meat-filled zucchini (courgettes)
June is the season for zucchini (or courgettes). We now have the "Romanesque" variety available at the market. This variety, typical of the Roman countryside, is full of flavour, firm, lighter in colour and often sold with the flower attached to it. Now, the flower can be stuffed and baked or deep fried. But the vegetable itself is often used to prepare this summer recipe, an absolute Roman cuisine classic and a wonderful dish that can be eaten hot or cold. The flavours of tomatoes, basil, good quality extra virgin olive oil, parmigiano reggiano (Italian original parmesan) all blend together and balance each other perfectly. Also these 'zucchine ripiene' can be reheated and are actually better the day after!
Zucchine ripiene alla Romana - Serves 6
6 zucchini (courgettes), 250g mince meat, 1 egg, 50 grated parmigiano reggiano cheese, bread (without the crust), a slice of ham, extra virgin olive oil, onion, fresh basil, salt, pepper, tomato passata or fresh, peeled tomatoes.
Empty the zucchini carefully. To prepare the stuffing, mix mince meat with one egg, some bread (soaked in water then squeezed), parmigiano reggiano, salt, pepper, a few bits of ham. Fill the zucchini with the stuffing.
Fry some finely chopped onion in a pot or pan that can accommodate for all the zucchini) until the onion is translucent. Put the zucchini in the pan, then add tomato passata or fresh peeled tomatoes, a pinch of salt and fresh basil. Cover the pan and cook until the zucchini are soft. La cena e' pronta!