I know it's been ages, 2013 has been very busy so far, with LOTS of travelling, weddings in foreign places and hardly any time to cook, let alone write about it. Please forgive me! However, I am back with comfort food. Winter is almost here (it snowed in the Alps!) and food should be comfortable, easy and not involve cleaning too many pans :-)
The main player today is the small rondini squash, which looks very similar to courgettes, with a much harder skin. Its cute round shape makes it perfect for stuffing and very neat on the table. I got 2 of them last week in my veg' box, which came together with a recipe for stuffing. As I am utterly unable to follow a recipe by the letter, here is my take on stuffed rondini, inspired from la Halle Romande's recipe. I used a mix of minced pork and beef for the stuffing, but you could really do as you feel, either one or the other, or use turkey or even a meat substitute like minced Quorn. I used a lot of different ingredients and herbs in the stuffing, don't worry if you don't have them all, the original recipe was much more straight-forward. Finally,if you have leftover stuffing, you can use it the next day to make a starter by shaping small meat balls and frying them in a pan. Serve with a cold yogurt and mint sauce, it's delicious.
Stuffed rondini squash - serves 2
Inspired from La Halle Romande
2 rondini squash
250g minced meat (I used a mix of pork and beef)
1/2 cup breadcrumbs, soaked in milk
1/2 cup parsley, chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 small onion, chopped
1/2 teaspoon thyme
1 teaspoon soy sauce
1-2 sprigs rosemary
1/2 cup rice (I used parboiled)
1 glass white win
at least 500 mL vegetable broth
 Start by cutting out the top part of the rondini. Using a spoon, empty as much of the flesh as possible without damaging the skin. Remove the seeds from the flesh.
 Drain the milk from the breadcrumbs. To make the stuffing, mix the meat with the breadcrumbs, parsley, garlic, onion, thyme, egg, soy sauce and 1/2 teaspoon chili paste. Season with salt and pepper. Fill the emptied rondini with the stuffing and put the "hat" back on the top.
 Use an oven dish about 15x25x5 cm in which your rondini will fit nicely. Put the rondini in the middle and cover the bottom of the dish with the seedless rondini flesh (see picture above). Sprinkle the rosemary sprigs and 1/2 teaspoon chili paste on the squash flesh. Add a second layer with the rice, it should cover the squash completely. Pour the white wine over the rice and fill up with broth until the liquid is about 2 cm over the rice. If your dish is too shallow, simply refill with broth during baking time.
 Cook 40 minutes to 1 hour in the oven at 200°C. Check the liquid level from time to time and add broth if necessary. The rice should not be allowed to dry out.
Et voilà! Bon appétit!