Zucchine Ripiene alla Romana | Italian Stuffed Zucchini Recipe
Watch the Pasta Grammar video where we make this recipe here:
For this recipe, you will need:
- 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1/3 large carrot, diced
- 1/4 white onion, diced
- 17 1/2 (500g) whole peeled tomatoes
- 1 large zucchini
- 1/3 cup (80ml) whole milk
- 1 oz. (30g) fresh breadcrumbs
- Dry breadcrumbs to taste
- 1 slice (20g) mortadella, chopped
- 3 slices (20g) prosciutto crudo, chopped
- 5 1/2 oz. (150g) ground beef
- 3-4 sprigs fresh parsley, diced
- 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
- 1 3/4 oz. (50g) grated pecorino cheese, or to taste
- Fresh black pepper
Begin by preparing the tomato sauce. In a medium saucepan, bring the olive oil up to medium temperature on the stovetop. Add the carrot and onion. Sauté for 2-3 minutes, or until the onion has become tender and slightly transparent. Add the peeled tomatoes, 1/2 cup (120ml) of water, and a pinch of salt. Bring to a simmer and cook, partially covered, for 20-25 minutes or until the sauce thickens. When the tomatoes tenderize, smash them with a fork. As the sauce nears completion, salt it to taste and turn off the heat.
While the sauce cooks, place the breadcrumbs in a small bowl and saturate with the milk. Allow to soak while preparing the zucchini.
Slice off the top and bottom of the zucchini, then cut it into thirds. Use a paring knife to carefully hollow out the center of each section, leaving enough flesh inside to maintain the shell's structure.
Squeeze out the excess milk from the breadcrumbs and add into a blender or food processor, along with the mortadella, prosciutto and ground beef. Blend into a fine crumble, then transfer into a mixing bowl. Add the parsley, nutmeg, pecorino (feel free to add more or less depending on how much you like cheese) and a generous sprinkle of salt and pepper. Mix thoroughly.
If you find that your mix is quite sticky and/or wet, feel free to add a sprinkle of dry breadcrumbs until the mix is solid but tacky.
Pack the filling into each zucchini section, keeping the stuffing flush with the ends of the vegetable. Place the zucchini into the tomato sauce and cook over low heat, partially covered and turning occasionally, for 1 hour or until the zucchini has softened slightly.
Serve warm, drizzled with extra tomato sauce. Buon appetito!