Ricotta-Stuffed Zucchini Flowers With Melanzane Ripiene

Preparation time:
20 minutes
Cooking time:
1 hour 15 minutes


4 zucchinis, flowers intact
Olive oil, to shallow-fry

Tomato Sauce
1kg vine-ripened tomatoes
1 tbs olive oil
3 garlic cloves
2 tbs tomato paste
1/3 cup chopped fresh basil
Salt and pepper, to season

Melanzane Ripeni
1 large eggplant, trimmed, quartered
2 tbs olive oil
1 small onion, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, crushed
100g pork mince
1 egg
½ cup grated Parmesan
1 tbs finely chopped parsley

25g plain flour
Pinch of salt
1 tsp olive oil
1½ tbs warm water
1 eggwhite, whisked until foamy

Zucchini Flower Stuffing
1 eschalot, finely chopped
50g ricotta cheese
1 tbs finely chopped parsley
1 tbs finely grated Parmesan


1. To make tomato sauce, cut a small cross in base of each tomato, then place in a bowl and cover with boiling water. Stand for 2-3 minutes, then drain and peel. Coarsely chop flesh.

2. Heat oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add garlic, tomato flesh and paste. Cook, stirring, for 1 minute and bring to the boil, then reduce heat and simmer gently for 1 hour or until sauce thickens. Stir in basil, then season with salt and pepper.

3. To make melanzane ripieni, place eggplant in a medium saucepan of salted boiling water for 5 minutes. Drain, then scoop out centres, leaving a 5mm-thick shell. Set shells aside and finely chop eggplant flesh.

4. Heat half the oil in a frying pan over medium heat. Add onion and cook for 3-4 minutes or until soft.

5. Place onion, eggplant flesh and remaining ingredients in a bowl. Using your hands, mix well to combine. Season well with salt and pepper.

6. Divide mince mixture among cooled eggplant shells, moulding to form a firm mound.

7. Heat remaining oil in a non-stick frying pan over medium heat. Add stuffed eggplant and cook for 2-3 minutes on each side or until cooked through.

8. To make zucchini filling, combine all ingredients in a bowl.

9. Open up zucchini flowers and remove yellow stamens. Spoon filling into flowers and gently twist petals to close.

10. To make batter, sift flour and salt into a medium bowl. Slowly whisk in oil and water to form a smooth batter. Add eggwhites and stir to combine.

11. Dip zucchini flowers in batter, then shallow-fry in a high-sided frying pan for 2-3 minutes or until flowers are golden and crisp and zucchini is tender. Drain on paper towels, then season with salt and pepper.

12. Spoon or pipe a strip of each pesto, béchamel and tomato sauce (to represent Italian flag) onto each serving plate. Arrange one eggplant on each plate. Top with zucchini flower and garnish with parsley to serve.


For more vegetarian recipes, visit Yahoo!7 Food


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