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Stuffed courgettes

Stuffed courgettes

Zucchini stuffed with fried tomato and bonito

Many readers ask me where I get the recipes, and my answer is always the same: from everywhere; specifically, this recipe is a very paradigmatic example of the dishes that arise from the appearance of new products on the market. Round zucchini are one of those vegetables that have been on the shelves of good supermarkets for a relatively short time. At first, every time I saw them, I really wanted to buy them to fill, since the elongated ones are not easy to empty, and it was also necessary to pass them through flour and egg so that the filling did not come out. However, I was very careful with this “new vegetable” because I was afraid that they were not natural but genetically modified. In this regard, I have made some inquiries and it seems that they are natural variations and that there is nothing to fear; in this sense his cultivation dates back almost to the beginning of the cultivation of traditional zucchini, although they have a very short season and require more care than other varieties. From a culinary point of view, they are clearly softer in texture and flavor than the others, and of course their shape, in addition to being very beautiful, is perfect for filling them.

As for the filling, whose recipe is already very widespread, although I have not seen the combination that I provide, I decided on it by pure extrapolation of Italian recipes where zucchini is widely used with fried tomato, bonito or tuna and cheese. I think the pairing of these ingredients was perfect, and magnificent Italian elaborations attest to their success. Another essential issue was its cooking method: casserole or oven; Both methods are clearly adequate, but I chose to cook them, for fear that the oven would not soften the skins enough; Finally, there was another decisive question: I had to cut the zucchini hat completely, and then put it back on, or it would be better to cut only one part to get a flat top that would allow me to gratin them with cheese; which would give them a touch of flavor that would intensify it and bring it closer to an Italian recipe. In this, ors preI sit both versions so that you are the ones you choose.

Ingredients:

6 round zucchini

Filling:

  • the inside of 6 zucchini
  • a cup of fried tomato
  • 2 cans of tuna of 100 g. approx.

Sauce:

  • 2 or 3 tablespoons of virgin olive oil
  • an onion
  • a rolled garlic
  • a cup of good fried tomato (homemade or commercial)
  • an onion
  • one or two carrots
  • a green pepper
  • half a glass of dry sherry or white wine
  • the broth to drain the zucchini to fill
  • saffron
  • a cube of avecrem

Elaboration:

1. Wash the calacines well and dry them. Cut the lids and reserve them for the presentation.

2. Empty the meat of the zucchini with a tablespoon or a scoop:

3. Start preparing the sauce with the chopped onion, garlic and green pepper:

4. Now we are going to make the filling, first cook with very little oil the meat of the zucchini, to which you will also add the zucchini tops to soften them a little:

5. You mix the tomato and the bonito or tuna and, finally, you add it to the cut zucchini that I have in the pan to fry and that once done (10 or 15 minutes) it must be very very drained (this is very important, you can even squeeze it with a spoon to release all the water) because the zucchini will release more water; I must reserve this broth:

6. In the saucepan where I have cooked the tomato sauce, I will add the zucchini, the tomato and the bonito or tuna, stir everything and cook for about 5 minutes:

7. For the sauce, I will make a traditional sauce with onion, garlic, a green pepper and half a small glass of wine and the liquid to cook the pulp of the squid:

8. When the sauce is done, add the saffron, the cube and the liquid to drain the zucchini and cook for a few minutes:

9. Now we can start to fill the hollow zucchini, squeezing them well so that it takes the most amount of mixture:

10. It is time to cook the squid in the sauce, to which we add a tablespoon of flour and stir well with the leftover broth and perhaps a little more water (the liquid in the saucepan should be in half. In that sauce they will cook the zucchini so that they are soft but, at the same time, smooth, but before you must decide whether to put the flat caps on top, or just the whole zucchini cap; This cooking will take at least half an hour with very gentle heat but always boiling:

11.Once they are soft, you can either leave them in the saucepan until serving them, with the hat on, or cover them with a good Parmesan and gratinate them in the oven:

12. Already gratinized, they will be ready to take to the table. I have tried both and the gratins seem better to me; but there is not so much difference either and, if you leave them only with the hat, you will save yourself the baking step:

You can serve them with white rice, fried potatoes or with a simple salad:

 

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