Thursday, October 28, 2010

Zucchini alla Napoletana

Hmmm Italian food, rich in spices, rich in flavor, and healthy! We're not talking here about that greasy Pizza from the fast food places. We're talking about homemade, and incredible easy to make, healthy Mediterranean dishes.

Today I bring my version of the Zucchini alla Napoletana, what means basically, Zucchini with tomatoes, onions and cheese. But I added some other ingredients to give it a richer flavor. I remember my mom making a dish very much alike this one when I was younger, then I developed it into my own Gratin version. Here is the recipe:

(for 3 or 4 portions)

  • 2 big Zucchinis
  • 4 or 5 big Tomatoes (or Cherry Tomatoes, or half and half, it will have much more flavor!)
  • 1/2 Onion
  • 1/4 Red Paprika (or 1 Tbsp grounded as seasoning)
  • 200 gr. Sliced White Champignons
  • 150 gr. Chopped Bacon (better if mini dices)
  • 200 gr. Sour Cream
  • 200 gr. Cottage Cheese (optional)
  • 1 Mozarella balls (125gr approx.)
  • Edam, Gouda, Parmesan Cheese for Gratin.
  • Olive oil to cook.
  • Seasoning: Salt, Garlic, Pepper, Basil. If you have, Thyme and Rosemary goes very well.
  • 2 toast (optional)


Chop all the vegetables. Zucchini, Tomato and Champignons cut them in thin to medium slices. Onion julienned. Paprika and Bacon chopped to small dices.

In a large Pan with around 1 Tbsp of Olive Oil, in medium heat, add the onions and cook until they are partially transparent. Then add the mushrooms. Mix, cover and Cook until the Mushrooms are softened. Then add the paprika and the bacon, mix, cover and cook for around 2 minutes. When you see the mushrooms and the paprika already soft, remove from the heat and reserve apart in a bowl.

In the same pan, still hot, add the Zucchinis and one bit of salt. Mix and cover. Let cook for around 5 minutes. Once the Zucchinis are softened (they get a slightly transparent-yellowish look), then add the tomatoes. Mix, cover and cook for around 5 minutes.

Once the tomatoes are partially cooked as well, remove from the fire and mix with the previous onion, champignons and paprika mix. Add the seasoning. At this point you can test if its ok of salt and pepper.

When all is well mixed (carefully not to break the zucchini and the tomatoes too much), add the whole mix to a Gratin bowl. Here is an insert: As the cooking and then rest of the Zucchini and Tomatoes produce a lot of liquid (water out from the vegetables), try to remove the water as much as you can. I pressed down the mix with a serving spoon, tilting the bowl so the liquid would fall out to another bowl. It is important to reduce as much the amount of liquid before the gratin, to have a better serving portion (avoiding the risk to get broken when serving).

When the mix is ready in the gratin bowl. Add a layer of Mozarella cut in slices. Then spread the Cottage cheese if you have it, then the Sour Cream. The final layer is the Gratin Cheese (Edam, Gouda, Parmisan, or a mix of 3). As a hint of flavor, I spread on the top a bit more of freshly grounded Pfeffer and Basil.

Place it in your oven at 250 °C (480°F) for about 10 to 15 minutes (check until the Gratin cheese is gets that delicious golden color). While cooking, toast your bread and chop them in small dices. Reserve for serving and decorating.

Once is done, leave for 5 minutes in a cool place to rest the boiling liquids and assure a better presentation on the plate.

Serve and add the Toast dices around.


1 comment:

Wendy Martin said...

This looks absolutely yummy! We are so lucky to have our features every week. I sooo look forward to them. Thanks!