Grandma uses a deep pot, always the same. I have a memory of that pot since the first time I tasted her stuffed round courgettes. Over the years it has lost a handle, but it remains, in her opinion, the perfect pot to use if you want to cook her stuffed courgettes. It has a thick bottom and you can easily fit in two courgettes per person, plus one which has to be left aside for when my dad comes back home from work in the evening. Because grandma knows what he likes, and he has a soft spot for stuffed vegetables.
Even though she tries to hide the pot, hoping to make it go unnoticed behind other pots on the stove, I am always able to find it and guess what she has cooked from the celestial smell. As soon as the courgettes are ready, I stealthy approach to the stove with a fork in my hand and I try to steal little morsels of stuffing from the top of each courgette, how can she notice it? Then I drizzle some sauce over each courgette, trying to hide the theft.
When Grandma brings the zucchini to the table she always looks at me with complicity. I am sure that our secret is in good hands.
Round courgettes stuffed with tuna
We might be slightly ahead of time for this recipe, but a few days ago I was walking outside in the garden and I felt for the first time my hair waving in the warm wind. It has been a long time since the last time I had hair so long as to dance in the wind, more than two years now and a long rainy winter. Spring tapped my on my shoulder and whispered softly she was finally here.
So I thought I’d celebrate her, as this year I crave for sunny mild days and flower scented air as never before. I’m welcoming the good season with a family recipe, grandma’s tuna and breadcrumbs stuffed courgettes.
Tuna and breadcrumb stuffed courgettes
- 4 fresh round courgettes
- 1 egg
- 40 g grated Parmesan cheese
- 40 g diced fresh pecorino toscano, or Emmenthal
- 80 g tuna in oil
- 80 g breadcrumbs
- Extra virgin olive oil
- ½ glass of white wine
- 400 ml of vegetable broth
- 2 tomatoes
- ½ onion
- Wash the courgettes and remove the top with a sharp knife, then with a teaspoon empty the courgettes, putting aside the pulp.
- For this recipe we are going to use only half of the courgette pulp, the rest can be used to make a dressing for pasta or it can be added to a vegetable soup.
- So, use only half of the courgette pulp, chop it finely and sauté it in a pan with a few tablespoons of olive oil and a pinch of salt until soft and tasty.
- Add the pulp into a bowl and mix it with the Parmesan cheese, the diced fresh pecorino, the beaten egg, the flakes of tuna and the bread crumbs. Season with salt.
- Stuff the courgettes with this mixture, pressing it with a spoon, taking care not to break them.
- Pour a few tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil in a thick-bottomed pan and add the zucchini. Add the diced tomatoes and the thinly sliced onion.
- Cook the zucchini over medium heat, when they start to sizzle pour the white wine and reduce, you'd need about 5 minutes.
- Pour in a ladle of broth and cook the stuffed courgettes covered with a lid over low heat.
- Check it often and add more broth from time to time when reduced until the courgettes are cooked, it will take about 35 to 40 minutes.
- Serve the stuffed courgettes hot, as soon as they are ready. They're also good the next day, heated for a few minutes in a pan with a drizzle of olive oil.
More recipes with zucchini
- Zucchini with fresh garlic and oregano. How can I still remember the excitement of this dish after so many years? My first fresh garlic, a bunch of aromatic herbs, a side dish just for me.
- A Tuscan sweet zucchini cake. This zucchini cake is not too sweet, has an unusual green taste for a cake and keeps its moisture thanks to the thinly sliced zucchini that enrich a simple batter made of flour, milk, egg, sugar and olive oil. Do not forget a few leaves of fresh basil to make this cake even more aromatic.