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Round Zucchini Balls Stuffed with Mortadella Sausage

During the summer season you can find lots of zucchini varieties on the market.

Anything from kinda all-year-round long dark green zucchini, to zucchini blossoms, white zucchini and even round zucchini.

There is a ton of ways they can be cooked. And you probably have tried a few already.

But those round zucchini just scream to be stuffed 🙂 With their natural nutty and sweet flavor they are great for almost any kind of filling.

Today’s recipe is all about perfect round zucchini stuffed with mortadella and parmesan cheese.

Round zucchini are often called eight ball zucchini or eight ball squash. You might also find them in different tints of green: dark green, light green, almost white.

Pick whichever you like more or whichever you have available.

And while color does not matter, the size DOES!

Look for the smaller ones, about 3 inches in diameter. They are more tasty and each works great as an individual serving.

As the main ingredient for the filling I’m using cooked Mortadella sausage.

But you can use regular Italian sausage (shredded and pan roasted), cooked prosciutto ham, tuna and olives, veggies and brown rice for vegetarian version. In other words, your imagination is the limit.

Just be sure to add 1 egg, breadcrumbs and pulp from cooked zucchini to whatever filling you gonna invent to let it all stick together but be moist and flavorful at the same time.

If you are up for it, here’s my super light and totally delicious version of zucchini balls with mortadella sausage.

Round Zucchini Stuffed with Mortadella - Ingredients

Ingredients:

4 round zucchini/ eight ball squash, approx 9 oz each

4 oz mortadella sausage

1 medium/ 5-6 oz potato, boiled

1 shallot/small white onion, finely chopped

4 tbsp parmesan cheese, grated

3 tbsp breadcrumbs

2 tbsp parsley, chopped

1 egg

Salt, pepper to taste

Preparation:

Step 1: Start with washing and boiling zucchini.

Bring the water to boil, add salt to taste. Deep in zucchini and boil them for about 10 minutes.

Round Zucchini Stuffed with Mortadella - Step1

NOTE: You don’t need zucchini to be completely cooked. In fact you can even skip the boiling step. But I don’t recommend you do. By just pre-cooking our zucchini we do two things:

  1. Reduce zucchini cooking time in the oven, more than twice!
  2. Remove the excess liquid that zucchini naturally have, so when in cooked in the oven they don’t become soggy.

TIP: I usually boil the potato first, then take out the potato, let it cool in the cold water. In the same water boil zucchini.

The filling is quite simple and it need no cooking.

Step 2: Finely chop shallot and parsley leaves. Don’t forget to remove the stems.

Round Zucchini Stuffed with Mortadella - Step2

Step 3: Grate already cooled boiled potato using a medium size grater.

Cut mortadella sausage in stripes and then cubes.

Round Zucchini Stuffed with Mortadella - Step3

Once zucchini are slightly pre-cooked, take them out on a separate plate and let to cool so that you can touch them with the hands without burning yourself.

Preheat the oven to 375F.

Step 4: Cut off the tops. Don’t cut to close to the stem but also not too close to the middle. And don’t throw them away! We’ll dress our zucchini nicely once they’re stuffed.

Round Zucchini Stuffed with Mortadella - Step4

Think of it like a tiny cover hat that you’ll put back on them to have that pretty look.

Scrape out most of the flesh and seeds from each zucchini. Help yourself with small cuts around the pith at approx ¼ inch from the walls. It’s easy to do it with a melon baller. No melon baller? No problem! Regular spoon will do the job perfectly well.

Don’t throw away the pulp either!

Turn zucchini upside down to release any excess liquid.

Take the pulp you’ve set aside, squeeze with your hands to get rid of the liquid, cut in cubes. You’ll approximately need a pulp from 1 zucchini. But still don’t throw away the rest. Just in case.

Zucchini flesh helps regulate the density and quantity of the filling in case you need a bit more to fill up all zucchini balls.

Round Zucchini Stuffed with Mortadella - Step5

Step 5: In a large bowl add and mix well all ingredients for the stuffing mixture: breadcrumbs, parmesan cheese, mortadella, shallot, parsley, potato, egg and zucchini pulp.

Taste for salt, but I doubt you’ll need to add any. Mortadella and parmesan cheese will compensate for salt. If you like, add a few pinches of ground pepper.

Step 6: Divide the mixture approx in 4 equal parts (for four zucchini).

Stuff tightly each zucchini with the mixture. If after the first zucchini you feel like you need a bit more filling, add some more zucchini pulp you’ve saved earlier in the bow with the mix. Stir everything well again.

Round Zucchini Stuffed with Mortadella - Step6

Continue with the remaining zucchini.

Grease the baking dish with some olive oil. Set zucchini balls in the dish, cover each with the “hat” we carefully saved earlier.

Roast in the oven at 375-390F for 40 minutes. Round Zucchini Stuffed with Mortadella - 4 Individual Servings

There you have it. Light, juicy, meaty and pretty zucchini balls to brighten up your summer table, give a boost of vitamins and good mood.

Round Zucchini Stuffed with Mortadella Sausage

Today’s recipe is all about perfect round zucchini stuffed with mortadella and parmesan cheese.
Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time40 mins
Total Time1 hr
Servings: 4

Ingredients

  • 4 round zucchini/ eight ball squash , approx 9 oz each
  • 4 oz mortadella sausage
  • 1 medium/ 5-6 oz potato , boiled
  • 1 shallot/small white onion , finely chopped
  • 4 tbsp parmesan cheese , grated
  • 3 tbsp breadcrumbs
  • 2 tbsp parsley , chopped
  • 1 egg
  • Salt , pepper to taste

Instructions

  • Start with washing and boiling zucchini. Bring the water to boil, add salt to taste. Deep in zucchini and boil them for about 10 minutes.
  • TIP: I usually boil the potato first, then take out the potato, let it cool in the cold water. In the same water boil zucchini.
  • The filling is quite simple and it need no cooking. Finely chop shallot and parsley leaves. Don’t forget to remove the stems. Cut mortadella sausage in stripes and then cubes. Grate already cooled boiled potato using a medium size grater.
  • Once zucchini are slightly pre-cooked, take them out on a separate plate and let to cool so that you can touch them with the hands without burning yourself.
  • Preheat the oven to 375F.
  • Cut off the tops. Don’t cut to close to the stem but also not too close to the middle. And don’t throw them away! We’ll dress our zucchini nicely once they’re stuffed. Think of it like a tiny cover hat that you’ll put back on them to have that pretty look.
  • Scrape out most of the flesh and seeds from each zucchini. Help yourself with small cuts around the pith at approx ÂĽ inch from the walls. It’s easy to do it with a melon baller. No melon baller? No problem! Regular spoon will do the job perfectly well.
  • Don’t throw away the pulp!
  • Turn zucchini upside down to release any excess liquid. Take the pulp you’ve set aside, squeeze with your hands to get rid of the liquid, cut in cubes. You’ll approximately need a pulp from 1 zucchini. But still don’t throw away the rest. Just in case. Zucchini flesh helps regulate the density and quantity of the filling in case you need a bit more to fill up all zucchini balls.
  • In a large bowl add and mix well all ingredients for the stuffing mixture: breadcrumbs, parmesan cheese, mortadella, shallot, parsley, potato, egg and zucchini pulp. Taste for salt, but I doubt you’ll need to add any. Mortadella and parmesan cheese will compensate for salt. If you like, add a few pinches of ground pepper.
  • Divide the mixture approx in 4 equal parts (for four zucchini). Stuff tightly each zucchini with the mixture. If after the first zucchini you feel like you need a bit more filling, add some more zucchini pulp you’ve saved earlier in the bow with the mix. Stir everything well again. Continue with the remaining zucchini.
  • Grease the baking dish with some olive oil. Set zucchini balls in the dish, cover each with the “hat” we carefully saved earlier.
  • Roast in the oven at 375-390F for 40 minutes.

Notes

You don’t need zucchini to be completely cooked. In fact you can even skip the boiling step. But I don’t recommend you do. By just pre-cooking our zucchini we: 1
Reduce their cooking time in the oven, more than twice!
Remove the excess liquid that zucchini naturally have, so when in cooked in the oven they don’t become soggy.
Liked this recipe?Follow @italianrecipeb for more!
Let me know how did you like the mortadella filling? What is your favorite mixture to stuff zucchini with?

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