Tortino di Fiori di Zucca Ripieni (Stuffed Zucchini Blossom Tart)

by Patricia Eddy on September 5, 2011

Stuffed Zucchini Blossom Tart

I have a confession to make. I am forever tinkering with recipes. I can’t help it, really. It’s in my blood. I’m Italian and even though there’s a little Irish and Polish in my veins too, I identify myself as Italian. I suppose that’s in good part due to the fact that my Dad taught me to cook and he’s first generation Italian-American. So, when I find myself presented with a new recipe, more often than not, I’ll modify it just a little bit to suit my needs. Take today’s recipe, for example. I shopped for this recipe about a week ago, and I made sure I had all of the ingredients. But then life happened, I caught the cooking bug, we experimented with a few dishes, and I ended up using all of the Parmesan cheese in the house. Of course, we could have gone to the store, but we were feeling lazy after canning fifteen jars of red pepper jelly, picking dandelions, and preparing the garden for winter planting. So we dug around in the fridge a bit, found a container of ricotta from earlier in the week, and went to work.

As I told my husband, “It’s an Italian recipe. If they didn’t want it to be messed with, they shouldn’t have put it in an Italian cookbook.”

Stuffed Zucchini Blossom Tart, adapted slightly from Phaidon’s Silver Spoon

 

  • 1 cup (100 grams) ground beef
  • 1 cup Italian sausage (preferably hot Italian)
  • 1 clove of garlic, chopped
  • 4-5 basil leaves, chopped
  • 6 eggs
  • 2/3 cup Parmesan cheese (2 Tbsp reserved)
  • 1-2 Tbsp bread crumbs (optional)
  • 12 zucchini flowers, pistils removed
  • butter for greasing the pan
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 2 Tbsp tomato sauce
  • salt and pepper
Steps
  1. Preheat the oven to 350.
  2. In a medium bowl, add the ground beef, sausage, one egg, the chopped garlic and basil, and all but 2 Tbsp of the cheese. Season with salt and pepper.
  3. Mix well with hands or a wooden spoon, adding breadcrumbs if desired or needed for consistency. (Note: If you want to make this recipe gluten free and need a bit of binder, use gluten free bread crumbs or even dried unsweetened coconut – yes really!)
  4. Stuff the squash blossoms with the meat mixture.
  5. Heat the oil in a large pan over medium-high heat.
  6. Cook the stuffed squash blossoms, turning regularly, until they are golden brown and the filling is cooked through (about 10-12 minutes).
  7. Butter an 8 inch cake pan and arrange the squash blossoms in a pinwheel design in the pan.
  8. Beat the remaining eggs with the tomato sauce and remaining cheese in a medium bowl and season with salt and pepper.
  9. Pour the egg mixture over the squash blossoms, being careful to not disturb the arrangement of the blossoms.
  10. Place the cake pan on a cookie sheet and bake for 20 minutes, or until the top is set and firm to the touch.
  11. Remove the pan from the oven and let it set for 5 minutes.
  12. Either invert the pan on a plate or just cut into slices and serve.
Notes: Even though we used ricotta instead of Parmesan in this recipe, it was still fantastic. We had a large amount of leftover meat mixture left, and we formed that into patties and fried them for lunches during the week. The tart was delicious, but I think next time I’ll mix in some diced and caramelized onions and peppers in with the eggs.

Stuffed Zucchini Blossom Tart

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