Many years ago I wrote the main food article of the food section for our local newspaper. My favorite articles to write were when I interviewed people who traveled the world to cook and eat.
One such woman I wrote about attended a cooking class with Lorenza dé Medici at her home, Badia a Coltibuono, an 11th Century monastery, estate, and winery, in Tuscany. (There is no longer a cooking school, just their wines and olive oils are sold from the website.)
If I remember correctly, she spent a quite a few days in the spacious kitchen learning Tuscan specialties, using ingredients purchased at the local market. What an experience.
In the evenings all of the attendees and the Signora enjoyed the prepared food and locally grown wine. And because of that experience, I was exposed to Lorenza dé Medici and her many cookbooks.
I’ve posted on one recipe by Lorenza dé Medici from her Antipasti cookbook – Crostini al Tonno – but this Stuffed Zucchini recipe is from The Villa Table, published in 1993.
This recipe was posted years ago, but I needed to re-do the photos!
Courgettes Stuffed with Ham
Zucchine Ripiene al Prosciutto
6 medium zucchini (I recommend only 3 medium)
5 tablespoons fine dry breadcrumbs
3 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan
1 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted
6 ounces cooked ham, chopped
2 tablespoons olive oil
Bring a saucepan of salted water to the boil. Add the zucchini and cook for 5 minutes. Drain and pat dry.
Cut off and discard both ends of the zucchini. Using an apple corer, scoop out the pulp from the centers, leaving both ends intact, to make the hollow of the boat.
I also let the zucchini boats rest on paper towels to collect moisture.
In a bowl beat the eggs. Add the breadcrumbs, Parmesan, butter, and chopped ham. Mix well.
Transfer the mixture to a small frying pan. Stirring constantly, cook over low heat until the mixture thickens slightly. Remove from the heat and season with salt and pepper.
Stuff the zucchini with the mixture. Pour the oil and 2 tablespoons of water into an ovenproof dish and arrange the zucchini in it.
Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for about 20 minutes. Let cool slightly.
I sprinkled the stuffed zucchini with chopped Italian parsley and a little flaked salt.
Enjoy as a side, or as a meal!
And personally, I loved the white pepper instead of black!