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Courgette Flowers in a Tomato Sauce

This recipe for courgette flowers stuffed with ricotta in a tomato sauce makes for an easy laid-back vegetarian supper and can be ready in as little as 30 minutes. It’s a healthy, delicious way to enjoy courgette flowers which are prolific this time of year! 

Courgette Flowers stuffed with Ricotta

Courgette Flower Power

You’ll find a lot of recipes for courgette flowers involve batter and deep frying them, but this easy summertime recipe really allows the delicate flavour of the zucchini blossoms to shine through. The recipe for courgette flowers stuffed with ricotta is thought to have originated in Italy, where the dish is known as “fiori di zucca ripieni di ricotta” in Italian. It’s a popular appetizer or light meal and is often served during the summer months when courgette flowers are plentiful.

Flavours of Summer

The flavors of courgette flowers stuffed with ricotta work together to complement each other beautifully. The zucchini’s mild freshness pairs well with the creamy fullness of the ricotta, while the Parmesan cheese adds a hint of sharpness. The tomato sauce provides a slightly acidic counterpoint to the richness of the filling, and if you have time to leave the tomatoes to simmer, it develops a gorgeous sweetness.   

It’s also makes for a visually appealing meal with bright orange courgette flowers in a rich red tomato sauce – a visual feast!

 

Zucchini Flowers with Ricotta

Fuss Free

This recipe for courgette flowers stuffed with ricotta is a relatively easy dish to make and can be prepared in a relatively short amount of time. The only slightly tricky part is removing the stamen from the center of each flower, but this can be done quickly and easily with a pair of scissors. Once the stamen has been removed, the flowers can be stuffed with the ricotta mixture.

The reason I recommend removing the stamens is that they tend to be quite bitter, which detracts from the lovely freshness and delicate flavour of the flowers.

This is a dish that works really well when served with a crisp green salad – and of course, mopping up the tomato sauce with some fresh crusty bread is always a winner!

Courgette flowers are a good source of vitamins A and C, as well as potassium, while tomatoes are full of lycopene. So as well as being easy to make, delicious, and visually appealing, it’s a healthy choice too.

Did you Try These Courgette Flowers in a Tomato Sauce?

If you tried these courgette flowers stuffed with ricotta in a tomato sauce – please tell me about it! Leave me a comment, give this recipe a rating, and remember to tag your photo #theculinarycartel on Instagram so we can see what you come up with.

 

Courgette flowers in tomato sauce

Frequently Asked Questions

What other filling could I use?

The ricotta cheese can be flavored with different herbs and spices, like basil and oregano. In some parts of Italy, the courgette flowers are stuffed with a mixture of ricotta, parmesan and anchovies – and while this version wouldn’t be suitable for vegetarians, it does offer an interesting contrast of sweet and savoury.

How do I prep the courgette flowers?

Gently clean the courgette flowers by removing the stem or small courgette. Remove the fleshy pistil / stamen and remove the spiny leaves at the base of the flower, if there are any. 

 

Zucchini blossoms with ricotta
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Courgette flowers in tomato sauce

Courgette Flowers in a Tomato Sauce


  • Author: Jess Bunn
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 3-4 as a starter, 2 as a main
  • Diet: Vegetarian

Description

This recipe for courgette flowers stuffed with ricotta in a tomato sauce makes for an easy laid-back vegetarian supper and can be ready in as little as 30 minutes. It’s a healthy, delicious way to enjoy courgette flowers which are prolific this time of year!


Ingredients

Units
  • 810 large courgette / zucchini flowers
  • 250g ricotta*
  • 50g parmesan
  • 1 onion
  • 1 tin tomatoes
  • 5g parsley
  • Salt & pepper to taste
  • Olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves

 


Instructions

  1. Start by finely dicing the onion. Add the onion to a large shallow pan with a dash of olive oil. Sauté until softened.
  2. Mince the garlic cloves and add to the onion. Cook for approximately 1-2 minutes.
  3. Add the tinned tomatoes to the pan, and then fill the tin two thirds full with water, swirling to remove any remaining tomato, and add this to the pan too. Leave to simmer for a minimum of 20 minutes or up to 2 hours**, topping up with water as it thickens, to avoid the sauce burning.
  4. To prepare the ricotta filling, add the ricotta to a bowl, along with the parsley and parmesan. Stir and season to taste with salt and a generous amount of pepper.
  5. While the sauce simmers, take the courgette flowers and remove the stamens, then fill each flower delicately. Tear one petal down to the base where the petal meets the stem, so the petals fan open. Then take a scoop of the seasoned ricotta and in the palm of your hand, roll it into a ball and place into the base of the flower. Fold the petals back together and wrap it shut. You can also use a piping bag if you have one, squeezing the filling in through the opening of the courgette flower. In this case you won’t need to tear the flower open.
  6. Repeat until all the flowers are filled with the ricotta mixture.
  7. Once the tomato sauce has reduced, blend until smooth.
  8. Nestle the stuffed courgette flowers into the sauce, then cover with a lid and simmer on low heat for 3-4 minutes until the filling is soft and the flowers have steamed through.
  9. Serve immediately alongside a nice green salad, and perhaps some crusty bread for mopping up the tomato sauce.

Enjoy!

 

Notes

*This recipe works best with a nice creamy ricotta as opposed to the more dry crumbly variety. If you are only able to source the drier type, add a splash of cream to your ricotta filling to make the mixture pliable and easy to handle when stuffing the flowers.

*pro tip – Tomatoes sweeten as they simmer so the longer the better. Just keep an eye on the sauce to ensure it doesn’t stick to the bottom of the pan. Keep checking and adding water as necessary.

  • Prep Time: 10 min
  • Cook Time: 20 min
  • Category: Mains
  • Method: Fry

Keywords: courgette flowers, ricotta

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