Zucchine Farcite is Italian for Stuffed Zucchini! Again, everything sounds so much better in Italian. It’s just the way everything rolls off the tongue. So poetic, so rhythmic, so…swoon! If I ever have to hear really bad news I’d like to hear it in Italian. Just sayin’.
Zucchini are an amazing little veggie & they’re in abundance right now. I have had stuffed zucchini so many ways. Once you get the basic recipe down the possibilities are endless.
This is a hearty meal that incorporates your meat & veggies all in one! Not to mention so budget friendly. (Hello … hamburger & zucchini – the rest you’ll probably have in your pantry!) Brilliant. I can’t remember how many ways I was introduced to this dish in Italy. I hope you’ll experiment and come up with your own versions.
The hardest part of this dish is hulling out the zucchini. A task which at first seems easier than imagined. I ended up using my measuring spoons to do the job & they worked wonders – I used the teaspoon if you’re wondering. Be careful not to tear the shell of the zucchini, after all it will be your zucchini boat and you don’t want the boat to sink or, as the case may be, fall apart during serving. The zucchini itself gets so tender during the baking, and the stuffing is flavorful and filling. I like to garnish mine with a load of Pecorino. (Well, are you surprised? I hope not.) If you want yours a little spicier add in some red pepper flakes!
What are you going to stuff your zucchini with?
What you’ll need:
4 large zucchini (as close to the same size as possible)
1 lb ground beef
1/2 green bell pepper – chopped
1/2 onion – chopped
2-3 cloves of garlic – minced
2 slices of sandwich bread
pinch of Nutmeg
extra virgin olive oil
What to do:
Preheat your oven to 375 degrees. Take your zucchini & cut them in half vertically. Hollow out the inside of each zucchini half and reserve the zucchini pulp. Be careful not to tear the zucchini shell.
In a large bowl, combine your ground beef, bell pepper, onion & garlic. Season well with s/p. Add a good pinch of Nutmeg. Add in your egg and mix well. In a small bowl, add your bread slices & a very small amount of milk (just enough to dampen the bread). Squeeze any excess milk off with your fingers. Roughly tear the bread slices and add them to the meat mixture. Roughly chop your zucchini pulp and add to mixture as well. Stir again making sure everything is mixed together nicely. Spray an ovenproof casserole dish with cooking spray. Arrange your zucchini shells inside the pan. Season the insides with s/p. Spoon the meat mixture into the shells. Sprinkle bread crumbs on top of stuffed zucchini (enough to coat well but not drown the zucchini) add a drizzle of olive oil to tops & bake for 1 hour or until meat is completely cooked through. Garnish with freshly grated Pecorino Cheese.
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