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Stuffed Zucchini with Pecorino Sauce
© Quentin Bacon

Stuffed Zucchini with Pecorino Sauce

  • SERVINGS: 6
  • MAKE-AHEAD
  • VEGETARIAN

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.

  1. 12 firm, very fresh medium zucchini (about 5 1/2 pounds total)
  2. 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  3. 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  4. 2 large shallots, finely chopped
  5. 1 tablespoon finely chopped flat-leaf parsley
  6. 1 tablespoon thyme leaves
  7. 1/4 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
  8. Salt and freshly ground pepper
  9. 2 eggs, lightly beaten

PECORINO SAUCE

  1. 2 hard-cooked large egg yolks
  2. 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  3. 2 1/2 cups finely grated young sheep's milk cheese, preferably Pecorino Toscano (3/4 pound)
  4. 1/3 cup water, plus more if needed
  5. 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.