Round courgettes are particularly suited for stuffing. One is spoilt for choice: eggs, tuna, rice and cheese, or minced meat just like this recipe.
One can buy round courgettes all year round, but they are tastier during summer. In Italy we have delicious varieties as Tonda di Piacenza, which is almost perfectly spherical and has a beautiful intense green colour. Another variety perfect for stuffing is Tonda di Firenze, that has a delicate flavour and tender, smooth skin.
Serves: 4 | Preparation time: 10 mins | Cooking time: 25 mins
- Round courgettes: 4
- Mozzarella: 120 g
- Ham: 50 g
- Minced pork: 60 g
- Garlic: 1 clove
- Extra virgin olive oil: 3 tbsp
- Parmesan, grated: 1 tbsp
- Basil, fresh: a handful
- Salt and pepper: to taste
Preheat the oven to 200°C.
Cut off the top part of the courgettes. Remove the pulp with a knife or a teaspoon, and set it aside. Boil the courgettes in unsalted water, then drain them and cool them down under running cold water. Dry the courgettes with a kitchen cloth.
Tip: Do not throw away the upper part of the courgettes – it will not be eaten, but makes for a nice presentation. Bake the courgettes tops on the side along with the main dish; then place them back on top of each courgette right before serving.
Chop up the basil leaves. Heat up 3 tbsp of olive oil in a pan and brown the unpeeled garlic clove. Add the pulp of the courgettes and the basil and fry them up for about 5 minutes.
Cut ham in small pieces. Remove the garlic clove from the pan, and add instead the ham and the minced pork. Flavour with salt and pepper and let it fry for another 5 minutes.
Remove the meat from the fire. Dice mozzarella in small cubes, add them to the meat and stir well. Stuff each courgette up to the brim.
Place on a baking dish, topping with some grated Parmesan and a drizzle of olive oil. Bake for 20 minutes to 200°C. They will be ready when they’ll get a golden crust on top.