Zucchini Stuffed with Ricotta (Zucchine Ripiene con Ricotta)
In this Calabrian dish, zucchini are stuffed with pecorino and ricotta—flecked with oregano and mint, they are equally good hot or room temperature.
Yield: serves 6
- 6 medium zucchini (about 2 lbs.), halved lengthwise
- 7 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
- 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
- 1 yellow onion, finely chopped
- 2 medium tomatoes, cored, seeded, and chopped
- 2 cups homemade or store-bought ricotta
- 3⁄4 cup grated pecorino
- 3⁄4 cup fresh bread crumbs
- 3 tbsp. finely chopped flat-leaf parsley leaves
- 2 tsp. dried mint, crumbled
- 2 tsp. chopped fresh oregano
- 2 egg yolks, beaten
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- Using a small spoon, scoop out and discard pulp from each zucchini half, leaving a 1⁄4" rim around the edges. Heat 3 tbsp. of the olive oil in a 10" skillet over medium heat. Add garlic and onions; cook, stirring occasionally, until translucent, about 6 minutes. Add tomatoes and cook, stirring occasionally, until soft, about 4 minutes more. Remove from the heat and set aside.
- In a medium bowl, stir together the ricotta, 1⁄4 cup of the pecorino, 1⁄4 cup of the bread crumbs, the parsley, mint, oregano, and egg yolks. Fold in the onion mixture and season with salt and pepper. Set the filling aside.
- Arrange an oven rack about 7" from the broiler element and heat. Rub the insides of the zucchini with 2 tbsp. of the olive oil and season lightly with salt. Place zucchini cut side up on a foil-lined baking sheet and broil for 5 minutes. Remove baking sheet from oven and fill each zucchini half with enough of the ricotta mixture that it mounds slightly but doesn't spill over the edges of the zucchini. Sprinkle each stuffed zucchini with the remaining pecorino and bread crumbs and drizzle with the remaining olive oil. Broil until the zucchini are soft and the tops are lightly browned, 10 to 15 minutes.