I was inspired to make Stuffed Courgettes from a Palestinian Instagram food blog I follow – this is very much my interpretation, and I make no claims whatsoever to any form of authenticity. What I can say, though, is that it is pretty yummy. It’s a great one to make ahead as it will keep in its sauce, in the baking dish for 24 hours in the fridge, before being baked to finish.
Stuffed Courgettes is a simple dish and works equally on a hot summer night as it would during the winter when you want to hibernate with comfort food. Except this is quite a lot better for you than a gooey pasta bake, and hey, you can pretend you’re in more tropical Middle Eastern climates!
Hearty Stuffed Courgettes
- 2 medium courgettes also called zucchini (Courgettes French / Zucchini Italian)
- 200 grams ground lamb (minced lamb)
- 1 small yellow onion
- 1 clove garlic
- 1 medium tomato
- 1 tin tomatoes
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- 1 pinch sugar (white sugar)
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- Finely chop the onion, garlic, tomato and herbs.
- Heat a medium saucepan over medium heat and fry the onion and garlic in a bit of oil for a couple of minutes until soft. Stir in the spice mix, allowing it to become fragrant for a minute or so. Then add the mince, breaking it up as it browns.
- When all the mince is brown, add the tomato and the herbs. Allow to simmer for up to 15 minutes to let the flavours blend.
- Meanwhile, heat the tin of tomatoes together with the tomato paste, sugar and cinnamon. After a few minutes, blend with an immersion blender (if you don’t have one, then use passata); continue to cook down until slightly darker red, around 15 minutes.
- Lay the courgettes on a board and cut in half lengthwise; scoop out the middle of the courgettes with a teaspoon. You should end up with four’ boats with a skin of 2/3 millimetre. Discard the centres as they’ll likely be mushy – if they’re crisp looking, they’ll finely chop and add to the mince.
- Once the meat and sauce are finished, then you’re ready to stuff.
- Take a courgette boat and gently fill it with the meat mixture; continue for all four. Pour the sauce into the baking dishes you’re using and place the stuffed courgettes on top. Bake the courgettes at 180 degrees Celsius for 30 to 35 minutes until the courgettes are a little soft and the dish looks and smells yummy!
- Serve with couscous, rice, or cauliflower ‘rice’ topped with a dollop of yoghurt, perhaps sprinkled with cinnamon.