Gigantic Stuffed Courgettes

Everyone in the house got one of these absolutely gargantuan courgettes from a friend’s allotment, seriously they were the size of my forearm. It seemed a shame if they weren’t made the centre of their own dish, so a good stuffing was on the cards.

There wasn’t really a plan with this one. At first I pondered going Middle Eastern but that would involve getting more spices for the cupboard, so in the interest of keeping it cheap and simple I stuck to Italian flavours. I didn’t want to just make a ragu as I’d done that quite a lot recently.

The idea of meatballs appealed a lot, and with the courgettes being so big, several meatballs would be able to nestle in the scooped out middle no problem. I went for some sausagemeat meatballs and fried aubergine, covered in tomato sauce and topped with mozzarella.

Ingredients

  • 2 giant courgettes or baby marrows.
  • 400g sausages or sausage meat, rolled into small meatballs.
  • 1 small aubergine.
  • 2 balls of mozzarella.
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt and pepper
  • Grated parmesan cheese.
  • For the Tomato sauce
  • 2 onions
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • 1 jar of passata or 2 tins of tomatoes.
  • Chopped fresh basil.

Method

img_9386 Cut the courgettes in half lengthways, coat the cut side in olive oil and season with a little salt and pepper. Roast for 20-30 minutes in the oven.

Meanwhile make the tomato sauce. Gently sweat down 2 sliced onions until lovely and soft, add a few cloves of chopped garlic and cook for a few more minutes and then add a jar of passata or two tins of tomatoes. Reduce the heat and let that simmer gently for 40-45 minutes, until it’s reduced somewhat and become a nice thick and rich tomato sauce. Add some basil or other herbs if you want.

img_9384While the tomato sauce is cooking, take some sausage meat and roll it up into little balls, about the size of a small sprout. Fry these in a little olive oil, until browned and cooked through. Place to one side. Then fry the chopped aubergine until golden and tender.

Take the courgettes out of the oven and leave them to cool for a few minutes. Then scoop out the seeds in the centre and discard. It was at this stage that I discovered that one of the giant courgettes was in fact a marrow.

img_9389Now to assemble the courgettes. Place the scooped our courgette halves cut-side up on a baking sheet. If they don’t sit flat cut a small slice out of the bottom. Season the inside of the courgettes with salt and pepper and a little parmesan cheese. Fill the courgettes with a mixture of the meatballs and aubergine pieces. Spoon over the tomato sauce. Leave the mozzerella off as we’ll add that part way through the cooking.

Bake the courgettes in a medium oven for 30-35 minutes. You don’t want the mozzarella to be overcooked, so I add it for the last 5-10 minutes. Serve with a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil and sprinkling of parmesan cheese. I served mine with a couscous salad of feta, artichokes and mint.