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baked summer squash – stuffed to perfection!

baked summer squash stuffed with porkSummer squash is available all year round which sounds a bit confusing.  The name refers to a squash harvested when it’s not fully mature.  The skin is soft and thin while the flesh is a softer texture.  Some of the most popular and familiar varieties are:  zucchini, pattypan squash, cousa squash, crookneck squash.  Summer squash is perfect roasted, grilled, sautéed, or stuffed.  This recipe is inspired by my mother in-law’s mom, Angelina Bocarisa, but I only knew of her as mama nini which was what all her grandchildren called her. My husband said mama nini was always smiling, never a harsh word spoken, and of course, her food (which according to Mr. S) was always good.

I spoke to Aida (my mother in-law) via skype yesterday and showed her the summer squash I just bought.  I asked her how mama nini made her stuffed zucchini.  She said she would hollow out the zucchini and stuff it with a mixture of ground meat, bread crumbs, an egg and herbs.  She would then take it to the local baker.  The Bocarisa family lived in Gibraltar and no one in those days (1920’s, 30’s, 40’s) had an oven in their kitchen.  Anything that needed baking was brought to the baker.  You would drop off whatever it was that needed baking, grab a receipt and come back when indicated.  I can just imagine all the glorious aromas wafting through the neighborhood as each person brought home their cooked food.

baked summer squash – stuffed to perfection!
 
Prep time

Cook time

Total time

 

Summer squash is available all year round which may confuse people. The name refers to a squash harvested when it’s not fully mature. The skin is soft and thin while the flesh is a softer texture. Some of the most popular and familiar varieties are: zucchini, pattypan squash, cousa squash, crookneck squash. Summer squash is perfect roasted, grilled, sautéed, or stuffed.
Author:
Serves: 2 as a side

Ingredients
  • 3 to 4 cousa squash or small zucchini
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • 1 to 2 Italian sausage, squeeze meat out of casing
  • ¼ cup crumbled feta cheese
  • 1 can whole Italian plum tomatoes
  • Parmesan cheese, grated

Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350f (180c).
  2. Cut one end off and use a melon baller to scoop out the flesh of the squash. If you don’t have a melon baller, use a teaspoon to gently remove the flesh. In a small bowl mix the remaining ingredients. To make it easier to stuff, shape some of the meat into a long cylinder about the length of the squash, and feed it into the hollowed out area. Gently push with your fingers so that the meat fills up the space.
  3. Grab an oven-proof dish and pour a bit of the juice from the canned tomatoes – just enough to cover. Place stuffed squash on top of juice. Take 1 or 2 plum tomatoes and tear apart over the top of the summer squash.
  4. Cover and bake 45 minutes. Remove from oven and uncover. Add a sprinkling of grated Parmesan cheese.

 

cousa squashsummer squashstuffed summer squashCover and bake 45 minutes.  Remove from oven and uncover.  Add a sprinkling of grated Parmesan cheese.

summer squash stuffedThe Culinary Chase’s Note:  If you have any sausage meat leftover, break into chunks and pan fry in olive oil until cooked.  Then add melon ball scoops of the squash with a sprinkle of chili flakes.  Cook until slightly soft and tear apart 4 or 5 plum tomatoes over the mixture, stir.  Season and allow to simmer 10 to 15 minutes or when the sauce thickens a bit.  Serve this with a slice or two of country bread to mop up the juices.  Enjoy!

About Heather Chase

The Culinary Chase was coined by my husband whilst in a coffee shop in Hong Kong back in 2006. We wanted something that would be a play on my last name and by the time we finished our coffee, the name was born. As long as I can remember I’ve enjoyed cooking. It wasn’t until we moved to Asia that I began to experiment using herbs and spices in my everyday cooking. Not only do they enhance the flavor of food but also heighten it nutritionally. Over the years, I began to change our diet to include more vegetables, pulses, whole grains and less red meat. Don’t get me wrong, we love our meat, just not in super-size portions (too hard for the body to digest). I always use the palm of my hand as a guide to portion control when eating red meat. If the meat is larger than my hand, I save that portion for another day. Also, if the veggies on your plate look colorful (think the colors of the rainbow) – red, green, yellow, orange etc. then you’re most likely getting the right amount of nutrients per meal. I post recipes that I think help maintain a healthy body. I use the 80/20 rule – 80% of the time I make a conscious effort to eat healthy and 20% for when I want french fries with gravy (poutine). Balance is the key and to enjoy life with whatever comes my way. Thanks for visiting!

 

The views and opinions expressed in this content are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of haligonia.ca.

http://theculinarychase.com/

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