• Stuffed 8 Ball Zucchini

March 17, 2017

I Love fall Farmer's Markets; there is such a wonderful array of veggies that you can only get during the fall. On my drive last Saturday I had to stop at a road side farm stand and I came across the most interesting food. 8 Ball Zucchini, can you believe it?! I have never seen or heard of anything like it. If you find any buy them, what a great find. This recipe has a lot of steps but it's not complicated.

Start by cutting off the top of the zucchini and scooping out the inside. Save the top for decoration and eating. Save what “meat” you can from the inside and chop it into small pieces; set it aside for the stuffing.

In a pot bring water, with salt and oil, to boil for the small pasta. Choose any small pasta you like; remember it will be stuffed into the zucchini so make sure it's small. When the water is ready, boil the pasta according to the box directions. Save the water for additional use. I poured the cooked pasta into a colander that was on top of another pot. This way I drained my pasta but saved my water. Two pots of water are ok, for me it was even helpful.

In a pan add Garlic Olive Oil and sauté ground turkey, pork or beef. Add about 2 Tablespoons of dried onions, 2 Tablespoons of dried Italian Herbs, some fresh ground pepper and salt to taste. Mix into the ground meat and cook until the meat is almost cooked through. Add small vegetables to the mixture; like corn or peas. Add the cooked pasta and mix. Cook on a lower heat until everything is hot and all the flavors are combined. If you use turkey you may need a little more fat so you can add more olive oil if desired. Once combined and warm, set aside with no heat.

In the pot with the pasta water gently place the hollowed out squash to boil. The water should come about half way up the squash. Towards the end of the cook time I turned my squash upside down to finish off the cooking of the very top. Also, place the top of the zucchini in the pasta water so they can cook as well. It took about 15 minutes for my zucchini to cook but I kept checking to be sure. This will vary depending on the size of the squash and the amount of water. Note - the oil in the pasta water will add a slight sheen to the outside of the zucchini so they will look even better when it’s time to eat. Remember eating starts with the eyes.

Once everything is cooked; stuff the mixture into the squash. Be sure to stuff it all the way to the bottom and pile a tiny bit more on top. Once full place the top on and serve. A fully stuffed zucchini will ensure the person eating is actually full when they are done and it looks better.

Not as difficult as it looks; just lots of steps. Enjoy.