Stuffed Zucchini Boats or Zucchini Ripieni

Stuffed Zucchini Boats
Stuffed Zucchini Boats

Most of my recipes I learned from my Dad who acually taught my Mom to cook. As he says, she could only boil water and was so young when they married. However, this particular recipe I learned from a dear Florentine friend when I lived there way back during my study years in Florence.
And if you like zucchini, you’ll love these. You can make them with or without prosciutto if you are vegetarian or not. They are a great side dish to compliment any meal or as the main course alone!

Here’s what you’ll need to serve 4 to 6:

  • 4 medium-sized zucchini, washed but not peeled
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • ½ cup freshly chopped onions
  • ½ teaspoon finely chopped garlic
  • 1 egg lightly beaten
  • ¼ cup finely chopped prosciutto
  • ½ cup bread crumbs (I use plain 4C)
  • 6 tablespoons freshly grated imported
  • Parmesan cheese
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • ½ cup shredded mozzarella
  • Preheat the oven to 375 .

Cut the zucchini in half LENGTHWISE and spoon out as much of the pulp as you can without splitting the shell and leaving hollow boatlike shells about ¼ inch thick.
Set the pulp aside and chop it coarsely.

In rapidly boiling water carefully and slowly drop the zucchini shells in for a few minutes, making sure they don’t break. Lower the heat and remove with a slit spoon after they have decidely turned green and are boiled.

Removing them carefully form the hot water, set them aside to cool.

Heat 3 tablespoons of olive oil in a heavy 8 to 10-inch skillet.
Add the onions and cook them over medium heat for about 5 minutes or until they are soft and lightly colored.

Add the chopped zucchini pulp and the garlic and cook for about five more minutes, stirring frequently.

With a rubber spatula scrape the entire contents of the skillet into a large sieve (sifter) and set over a mixing bowl to drain.

Metal sieves

After the vegetables are drained , place them in a large bowl. Add the slightly beaten egg, prosciutto, bread crumbs, 2 teaspoons of grated cheese, salt and pepper and taste for seasoning.

Spoon this stuffing into the hollowed zucchini shells, mounding the top just a little.

To bake the zucchini use a large shallow baking dish which you have lightly covered with olive oil , or if you prefer you can cover the bottom with your favorite sauce (optional).

Carefully arrange the stuffed zucchini in the baking dish. Sprinkle their tops with ¼ cup of cheese, dribble a few drops of olive oil over them and cover the dish tightly with aluminum foil.

Place the dish in the middle of the oven and bake the zucchini for 30 minutes, removing the foil after 20 minutes. Sprinkle some shredded mozzarella over the tops of the zucchini mounds and bake for another 10 minutes until melted.

Serve hot with or without sauce.

Enjoy!!!! See you Thursday!!
-Maria

This recipe has been tested in the THASC kitchen.
THASC is a unique small American business producing cards and other small promotional products.
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