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Stuffed Zucchini with Pecorino Sauce

This recipe comes from one of Sara Jenkins’s early inspirations, Dania Luccherini, the chef and proprietor of Italy’s great Fattoria La Chiusa, in Montefollonico.

  • Servings: 6

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  • 12 firm, very fresh medium zucchini (about 5 1/2 pounds total)
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 large shallots, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • 1 tablespoon thyme leaves
  • 1/4 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 2 hard-cooked large egg yolks
  • 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 1/2 cups finely grated young sheep's milk cheese, preferably Pecorino Toscano (3/4 pound)
  • 1/3 cup water, plus more if needed
  • Salt


  1. Cut 8 of the zucchini crosswise into 2-inch pieces. Using a melon baller, hollow out each piece, leaving a 1/4-inch shell. Mince the scooped-out flesh along with the 4 remaining zucchini.
  2. In a large, deep skillet, melt the butter in the oil. Add the shallots and cook over moderate heat until translucent, about 3 minutes. Add the chopped zucchini and cook, stirring occasionally, until tender and lightly browned, about 25 minutes. Stir in the parsley and thyme.
  3. Transfer the zucchini to a food processor and puree. Scrape the puree into a bowl, stir in the Parmigiano-Reggiano and season with salt and pepper. Let the filling cool, then stir in the eggs.
  4. Preheat the oven to 350°. Generously butter a large baking dish. Set the zucchini cups in the baking dish, hollowed side up. Spoon the filling into the cups, mounding it slightly. Bake the stuffed zucchini for about 1 hour and 10 minutes, or until tender and lightly browned.
  5. In a food processor, pulse the egg yolks with the olive oil until a smooth paste forms. Add the pecorino and the 1/3 cup of water and process until the sauce is smooth and has the consistency of heavy cream; add a little more water if the sauce seems thick. Season with salt.
  6. Spoon the room-temperature pecorino sauce onto serving plates and arrange about 3 warm zucchini cups on top. Serve at once.

Make Ahead

The zucchini cups can be prepared through Step 4 and refrigerated overnight. Reheat in a 325° oven before serving with the pecorino sauce.

Suggested Pairing

A fruity rosé made from Sangiovese grapes will stand up to the pungent Pecorino Toscano cheese sauce. Try one from California or Tuscany.

Contributed By Photo © Quentin Bacon Published October 2000

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