Provencal-Style Stuffed Courgette

Calabacin-relleno-estilo-provenzalThe recipe for the Provencal stuffed Courgette comes from Italy and is guaranteed to impress your guests. It can also be easily modified to your taste.

Ingredients 8 serves

  • 8 round courgettes (1/2 pound each).
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper.
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil.
  • 3 meaty slices of bacon, minced.
  • 1 large onions, finely chopped.
  • 1 large red bell pepper, cut into 1/4-inch dice.
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced.
  • 1 pound minced pork.
  • 1 aubergine, cut into 1/4-inch dice.
  • 1/2 cup fine dry bread crumbs.
  • 1/2 cup chopped olives (3 ounces).
  • 1/2 cup chopped basil.
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese.
  • 1/4 cup chopped sun-dried tomatoes.
  • 2 teaspoons thyme

Method

Preheat the oven to 375°. Cut a thin slice off the tops of the courgette and reserve. Using a small spoon, scoop out the flesh and finely chop it. Season the courgette cups with salt and pepper and turn upside down to drain for 15 minutes. Set the cups right side up on a baking sheet and bake for 20 minutes.

Heat the olive oil in a large pan. Add the bacon and cook over low heat until the fat is rendered, about 4 minutes. Add the onion, red pepper and garlic, cover and cook until softened, about 8 minutes. Add the ground pork, season with salt and pepper and cook over moderately low heat, breaking up the meat, until it is mostly white. Add the aubergine and cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes. Add the chopped courgette and cook for 10 minutes longer. Remove from the heat and stir in the bread crumbs, olives, basil, Parmesan, sun-dried tomatoes and thyme.

Mound the stuffing in the courgette cups, top with the lids and bake in the oven for 50 minutes. Serve hot, warm or at room temperature.

Notes: If using long courgettes, halve them lengthwise and don’t prebake. Stuff and bake in the oven for 15 minutes.