Stuffed vegetables

Stuffed vegetables

Verdure ripiene

By
From
Tuscany
Serves
4-6
Photographer
Helen Cathcart

Elena Rosini lives in a little second-floor flat in an old building in the heart of Siena. She works every day and likes to cook good, simple food for her and her partner. You can see the care she takes and that she cooks with love as she constantly tastes and adjusts the recipe.

We visited Elena in summer and she showed us how to stuff and cook round courgettes (zucchini) and large tomatoes. However, she told us that throughout the year, from the first courgettes to summer aubergines (eggplants), autumn mushrooms and winter pumpkins (squash), there will be a way to stuff them. You can serve them at room temperature or hot, for summer or winter accordingly and, once cold, they reheat really well for a quick meal. Cooking them partially under foil stops them drying out and intensifies the flavour.

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
8 large portobello mushrooms, halved, cored and seeds removed
or 4 red (bell) peppers, halved, cored and seeds removed

For the soffritto

Quantity Ingredient
1 small carrot, finely chopped
1 red onion, peeled and finely chopped
1 celery stalk and a few leaves, finely chopped
small handful parsley, finely chopped
4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
salt
freshly ground black pepper

For the filling

Quantity Ingredient
5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 garlic clove, peeled and lightly crushed
salt
freshly ground black pepper
500g minced meat
25g grated parmesan or pecorino
1 egg

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C. Make the soffritto using the carrot, onion, celery and parsley together with the oil and some salt and pepper for 10–15 minutes over a low heat until soft. If using mushrooms, finely chop the stalks and add to the soffritto.
  2. To make the filling, heat the oil with the garlic and add a pinch of salt and pepper. Remove the soffritto from the heat and put it into a bowl with the minced meat, cheese, egg and a little more seasoning. Stir to combine.
  3. Fill the mushroom or peppers with the filling mixture and lay them in an ovenproof dish. (Any leftover mixture can be made into patties and cooked alongside the vegetables). Drizzle over the remaining olive oil and pour in 100 ml water around the vegetables. Cover the dish with foil and bake in the oven for 30 minutes. Remove the foil and continue to cook for around 15 minutes or until the meat is golden brown and the vegetables are cooked through. Serve with sautéed greens or any of the salads.
Tags:
Italy
Italian
Caldesi
Tuscany
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