We recently hosted six of our lovely friends for a delicious Italian feast. We'd been given six bottles of wine to help us host the party and we really went to town on planning out the various courses based on my Nonna's Sunday lunch. One our guests is veggie and while the majority of the meal was veggie-friendly (and Hannah-friendly, obviously) the meat course was going to be a challenge! We decided on Braciole, a southern Italian version of involtini di manzo - thin steak stuffed with tasty things rolled up and cooked in a rich tomato sauce. Clearly, not very veggie friendly. So we were a little creative (incidently, we realised after the fact that you could sub the steak for aubergine but we already had aubergine in this meal, so a little variation is no bad thing!) Anyway, we decided to take the stuffing from the Braciole, mix with the flesh of an oven-roasted courgette then stuff it all back in there. Sounds pretty tasty, no?
This recipe is enough for one serving, but very easily scalable.
Anyway, start by slicing a courgette in half and roasting both halves in a pre-heated oven (190C) until the flesh is soft, about 40 minutes. While that is in the oven you can start to prepare the stuffing. Start by gently roasting 1 tablespoon pinenuts in the oven for about 7 minutes then roughly crush in a pestle and mortar. Add in 2 tablespoons fresh chopped basil and 2 tablespoons fresh chopped parsley, 1 glove crushed garlic, 2 tablespoons breadcrumbs, 1 tablespoon raisins, 5 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil. Then grate in 1 hard boiled egg and a little pecorino if you like. Stir, cover and leave in the fridge so the flavours have a chance to all mix together.
Once the courgettes are soft, carefully scoop out the flesh and mix with the rest of the stuffing mixture. Fill the courgette skins with the stuffing mixture and put back in the oven for 10 minutes. We served this with our melanzane parmigiana and some green beans. We'll post the braciole recipe soon, promise!