Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Super Simple #3 - Filled Zucchetti

Based on a little poll we've had a while ago, most of you readers seem to be interested in quick and easy to prepare dishes. This zucchetti dish certainly belongs into this category as well. The preparation time is 10 minutes or less with another half hour you won't have to do anything while the zucchetti sits in the oven. The addition of a little bit of clove added a nice exotic touch.



for 2 people:


Ingredients:

2 whole zucchetti (size depends on your appetite)
olive oil
3.5 oz (100 g) ground beef
3.5 oz (100 g) ground lamb
1 yellow onion, chopped
2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
2 teaspoons fresh or dried oregano
2 tablespoons parsley, chopped
1 teaspoon ground paprika
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 clove, ground (or 1/2 teaspoon clove powder)
2 oz (about 50 ml) white wine
2 tablespoons cognac or brandy
1 tomato, thinly sliced for decoration
a few thin onion slices for decoration
salt and pepper to taste


Instructions:

Cut a thin lid lengthwise for each zucchetti. Using a spoon or a special tool, remove seeds and excess meat from each zucchetti so you'll have plenty of space to fill them.

Microwave the zucchetti to soften them but make sure they're still a bit crunchy inside. To test that, stick a fork in it and see how resistant the veggies still are. If you don't have a microwave, you could also keep the zucchetti in the oven for an extra 15 minutes or so at the end or get yourself a microwave. It's not just there to cook frozen dinners (please don't!), I prefer boiling potatoes in there for example which just takes a few minutes.

Place the zucchettis into an oven-proof dish and put aside. Pre-heat the oven to 355 F. (180 C.).

In a skillet, heat a bit of olive oil (a few tablespoons) over medium heat, sauté onions and garlic for about 1 minute. Make sure the garlic doesn't burn as it will become bitter! Pour in the cognac or brandy. Add both ground beef and lamb, season with salt and pepper and sauté for about 3 minutes. Add all the remaining ingredients besides the tomato and onion slices. Stir well and test the taste. Add more spices to taste. If you like your dishes a bit spicy, you could add some chili as well.

Fill the zucchetti with the meat, decorate with tomato and onion slices, sprinkle with a few drops of olive oil and put into the oven for about 30 minutes. Optionally, you could also add some ground parmesan cheese on top.

For some other super simple recipes, check out:

Spaghetti with Oven Roasted Tomatoes
Rosti (Röschti)

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