One of my favorite dinner party dishes is this zucchine ripiene alla Romana, which is stuffed zucchini filled with a mixture of meat (veal, bread crumbs, Parmigiano-Reggiano, spices, and egg) that could easily substitute for meatballs. When making this dish, you hollow out the center of the zucchini and season the inside with salt. Then, you’ll stuff the zucchini with the meat mix and simmer it in a garlicky tomato sauce until everything is nice and tender. If you’re serving a crowd, you can also set aside the cored zucchini (there's no sense in wasting it) and add it to this Roman-style pasta made with Pecorino, guanciale, and black pepper.
(14-ounce can) whole tomatoes, crushed by hand
In This Recipe
Using a vegetable peeler, core the zucchini, setting aside the interior to use for Mezze Maniche alla Gricia con le Zucchine.
In a medium bowl, mix together the veal, breadcrumbs, Parmigiano-Reggiano, parsley, nutmeg, and the egg. Season with salt.
Salt the inside of the zucchini.
Using your hands or a spoon, fill the hollowed-out zucchini with the meat mixture and set aside.
Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a large skillet over low heat. When the oil begins to shimmer, add the garlic and cook, stirring, just until golden, about 5 minutes. Add the zucchini, then the tomatoes, a ¼ cup of water, and season with salt. Cook, covered, until the zucchini are very tender, about 40 minutes, turning once.