so when we hit august/early september - we are getting really creative, when it comes to dishing up a new plate or 2.....last week we got a bit of inspiration from our good friend here in Todi - Rosella from the Gran Caffe - when she served up these beauties of tender stuffed zucchini with a fragrant stuffing of mince and herbs - well here you are.....
The vegetable patch right now is booming with zucchini - very often we seem to forget about the plants for a day or 2 and then you have zucchinis too large to cook, as we normally would - and here is this recipe, like sent from heaven - as it uses quite large zucchinis.
The recipe for the sauce is with fresh tomatoes - as we are in the middle of tomato season - but feel free to use tinned tomatoes.
4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
2 medium onions, chopped
4 cloves of garlic, sliced
some chili - depends on your mood
3 sprigs of rosemary, leaves only
4 bay leaves
2 kg fresh tomatoes
250 ml white wine
sea salt and black pepper
500 g minced veal
1 tbsp fennel seeds, crushed
1 handful flat leaf parsley, chopped
40 g parmesan, grated
50 g bread crumbs
zest and juice of 1 lemon
sea salt and black pepper
6 medium sized zucchini
Start by cooking the sauce. Heat the olive oil in a large sauce pan and saute the onions and garlic for 10 minutes on medium heat without taking any color. Add the chili, rosemary and bay leaves and saute for a further 5 minutes.
Meanwhile you need to peel your tomatoes. Bring a large pan of water to the boil. Make a cross in the top of each of the tomatoes. Place them in the boiling water and count to 30 or till you see the skin starts to loosen. Drain and refresh in very cold water. Once cooled, lift out the tomatoes and peel them - then dice them in even dices - set aside.
When your onions are perfect and sweet, remove 2 tbsp of the onion mixture for later use. Add the diced tomatoes and saute for a further 10 minutes. Pour in the wine and let the sauce simmer for 30 minutes. Adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper and maybe a touch of red wine vinegar.
For the mince - place the meat in a bowl, add the reserved sauteed onions, fennel seeds, parsley, parmesan, bread crumbs, eggs, zest and lemon juice and mix well. Season with salt and pepper.
Cut each of the zucchini in 3 equal parts. With a melon baller, carefully remove all of the inside of the zucchini pieces - so you are left with a "zucchini tube".
Place your mince in a piping bag and fill each "tube".
Place the stuffed zucchini in the tomato sauce and cook on medium heat for 30 minutes - turning them after 15 minutes. Check the seasoning of the sauce and adjust if needed.