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A Trio of Zucchini Recipes From The Scotto Family

Updated 7:30 PM EDT, Tue, Aug 24, 2010

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Take advantage of the mildly sweet squash variety's bumper crop with these three delightful recipes from the Scotto family, proprietors of NYC's Fresco By Scotto restaurants.
 
Zucchini Blossoms Filled with Ricotta, Parmesan, Pecorino and Mozzarella, Baked with Tomato Sauce

Serves 6

18 or approximately 1 pound zucchini flowers

For cheese filling
2 cups fresh ricotta cheese
4 ounces fresh parmesan cheese, grated
4 ounces Pecorino Romano cheese, grated
1 pound fresh mozzarella cut into small dice
Salt and pepper to taste

For egg wash: 
2 eggs beaten
1 cup all purpose flour
Salt and pepper to taste

1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
3 cups prepared tomato sauce

Mix all ingredients of the cheese filling together. Thoroughly season filling with salt and pepper and place in a pastry bag without a tip. If you don't have a pastry bag, you can use a small teaspoon to fill the zucchini flowers.

Taking each zucchini flower by the stem, gently open the flowers, insert pastry bag and gently squeeze cheese filling into flowers. Be careful not to overfill. Repeat process until all are filled.

Gently dip zucchini flower into the egg wash and then dredge in flour to cover.

Heat olive oil in a large sauté pan over medium heat. Place zucchini flowers in pan and sauté till lightly golden on both sides. Spread a thin amount of tomato sauce on bottom of a serving dish and place flowers on top. Sprinkle with parmesan cheese and serve.

Pasta with Calabrian-Style Zucchini with Caramelized Onions, Lemon Zest and Bread Crumbs

Serves 6

3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 ounces or 8 tablespoons unseasoned bread crumbs
2-3 pounds small to medium size zucchini, ends removed, cut into 1/4-inch wide slices
1 1/2 cups sweet onion, diced 
Grated zest of 1 lemon
1 pound Fusilli pasta
Salt and pepper to taste

Pour approximately 1/4 cup of extra virgin olive oil in a sauté pan, place over low heat, season with salt and pepper and sauté bread crumbs until lightly golden, about 1-2 minutes. Transfer bread crumbs to a dish and set aside.

In a large sauté pan over medium heat, cook zucchini until golden brown then add onions and simmer until translucent; towards end of cooking, add fresh grated lemon zest.

Cook pasta according to package directions, drain, add to sauté pan and toss thoroughly with the zucchini and onions. Just before serving, sprinkle with toasted bread crumbs and serve immediately.

Chocolate Zucchini Walnut Bread

8 x 4 x 2 1/2-inch loaf pan
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
2 ounces cocoa powder (Dutch Process)
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
3/4 cups vegetable oil
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon grated lemon peel
1 cup coarsely grated zucchini
1/2 cup walnuts, toasted, coarsely chopped

Preheat oven to 325°F. Butter and flour loaf pan.

Sift together flour, cinnamon, salt, baking soda, allspice, cocoa powder and baking powder in a medium bowl.

Whisk sugar, vegetable oil, eggs, vanilla and lemon peel in a large bowl to blend. Whisk in flour mixture, then mix in zucchini and walnuts. Pour batter into prepared loaf pan.

Bake bread until tester inserted into center comes out clean, about 1 hour and 15 minutes. Let stand 10 minutes then turn bread out onto rack and cool completely.

First Published: Aug 24, 2010 10:54 AM EDT

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