100g minced beef
100g Tuscan sausage, skinned
1 clove garlic, chopped
4-5 tarragon leaves, chopped
50g grated Parmesan cheese
1-2 tablespoons breadcrumbs (optional)
12 large courgette flowers, with the pistils removed
Butter, for greasing
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 small onion, finely chopped
2 tablespoons tomato sauce
Salt and pepper
Courgette (zucchini) flowers are popular throughout Tuscany and central Italy. They can be stuffed, sautéed or used as a filling for an omelette. In the absence of courgette flowers, pumpkin flowers are an excellent alternative. This recipe from the famous Silver Spoon kitchen combines them with beef and Tuscan sausage to make a delicious and authentically Tuscan meal.
Mix together the beef, sausage meat, garlic, tarragon and 1 egg in a bowl. Reserve 2 tablespoons of the Parmesan and add the remainder to the bowl. Season lightly with salt and pepper. Work the mixture with a wooden spoon until it becomes smooth, gradually adding the breadcrumbs if necessary. Stuff the courgette flowers with the mixture.
Preheat the oven to 180C/Gas Mark 4 and grease a round 20cm (8in)cake pan with butter.
Heat the oil in a pan. Add the onion and cook over low heat, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes. Carefully add the stuffed flowers and cook until golden brown and until the stuffing mixture is cooked through. Remove the pan from the heat and transfer the flowers to the prepared pan.
Beat the remaining eggs with the remaining Parmesan cheese and the tomato sauce in a bowl, season with salt and pepper and pour the mixture into the pan.
Put the pan on a baking sheet and bake for 20 minutes until the mixture is firm to the touch. Remove the pan from the oven and let stand for 5 minutes, then turn out and serve immediately.
Taken from 'Tuscany' (Phaidon, £24.95).