For me, born and raised in Bologna, stuffed zucchini are part of the tradition. This vegetable came in Europe from America, as a consequence of Cristoforo Colombo travelling, and was quickly introduced in the tradition of Italian cuisine. For centuries, stuffed zucchini were prepared with the leftovers of meat to provide a dish full of vitamins and protein. Here, I suggest a vegetarian version, filled with tasty goat cheese, coriander seeds, potatoes and shallots. Stuffed zucchini can be prepared either “lying” or “standing”, but I personally prefer the second option. Do not dig totally the zucchini, in order to preserve a base that will prevent leakage of the filling.
This dish remind me of my days in Greece: The white-washed houses, the deep blue of the sea and the pale and spiced yellow of Retsina wine. when I returned I brought home the colors and flavors of the Peloponnese and I created a variant of the veal scaloppine with what I had left in my suitcase : Kalamata olives, fresh tomatoes, oregano, capers, feta cheese. The result was great, and I toasted to the many ingredients that are common to Italy and Greece!
If you were lucky enough to visit Rome and eat in one of its many “trattorie” (Italian informal restaurants, Ed.), you’ll have noticed that the food experience is a visceral, rough and traditional one. The Roman cuisine has very ancient origins, but has been able to evolve at an equal pace with the discovery of new ingredients from other continents, such as cocoa and tomatoes. The queen of entrees is without a doubt the oxtail “alla vaccinara”, one of the most popular among Roman dishes and the pride of every self-respecting cook of the capital. Today I present you with a more traditional and rich recipe: a dish which is complex in flavors, elegant, but also full of history: a real treat!