We have eight courgette plants in the ground this year. This has translated into a literal onslaught of courgettes in our kitchen. Stuffed, grilled, baked, in pasta, in risotto, au gratin, breadcrumbed, it's all been done. But the best way to eat courgettes in summer is to stuff them and gently cook them in light tomato broth until tender. The way my grandma used to make them.


3-4 medium green courgettes, about 2 inches in diameter each
500 g veal mince
1 medium onion
2 garlic cloves
a sprinkle of paprika
salt, pepper, olive oil
a handful of short grain rice
1 egg
tomato concentrate or passata

Peel the courgettes, cut off the end bits and cut in half. You are looking for roughly the same length in the pieces. Remove the core carefully, leaving a layer on the bottom to hold the filling in. I use a small teaspoon to gradually remove the inner flesh, leaving about 1 cm wall all around.

Fry the chopped onion until translucent. Add minced garlic and cook until it becomes fragrant. Add the mince and brown. Finish off with salt, pepper and a sprinkle of paprika. Stir and transfer into a bowl until it cools down a little.

Mix in the rice and the egg and combine.

Using a teaspoon, stuff the courgettes full with the mix. Arrange them standing up, in the suitable saucepan. Optimally, you'll fill the pan with courgettes so that there's no room for any of them to fall over.

Dilute some tomato concentrate or passata in water, until you get a nice orange coloured broth. It should taste of tomato but not be top strong (more of a soup than a sauce). Season with salt, pepper or if you wish, a stock cube or Vegeta. Pour into the saucepan carefully. You want the liquid to reach almost to the top of the courgettes.

Now you can either slowly bake them in a terracotta pot, or slow cook them in a Crock Pot or, as I usually do, just simmer gently for an hour or two, until the filling and the rice inside are cooked and the courgettes are soft.

Serve with crusty bread or mashed potatoes. This dish keeps in the fridge for up to a week.

Bon apetit!

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