6 small pattypan squash
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 small onion, minced
1/2 cup dry bread crumbs or matzo meal
1/4 cup grated Romano* cheese
2 tablespoons oregano
freshly ground black pepper
Preheat oven to 350. Lightly grease or spray one 8 inch square baking dish. Using a knife cut off the stem end of the squash. Insert a small spoon or melon baler and scoop out pulp, leaving a 3/8-inch deep shell. Reserve pulp. Bring 4 cups of salted water to a full boil. Add the squash shells and parboil 2 minutes. Remove and drain. Set aside. Mince pulp. In a skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat. Saute the onion and chopped squash until tender, about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from the heat and in a small bowl, combine with the cheese, bread crumbs, oregano and salt and pepper to taste. Use a small spoon to fill the shells completely. Place in prepared baking dish. Bake about 15 – 20 minutes, or until heated through.
*Parmesan would make an excellent substitute for Romano.
I originally came up with this recipe some years back when I wanted to stuff some 8 ball zucchini** I picked up at a farmer’s market. I liked the results then and when I saw some tiny pattypan squash at my favorite produce stand I thought an adaptation was in order. Since the flesh of pattypan squash is rather dense you have to be a little aggressive scooping the pulp out but it isn’t difficult, especially if you have a sharp melon baller or a pointy spoon. A major plus is that pattypan is a much easier variety of squash to find than 8 ball zucchini. Plus “pattypan” is a fun word to say.
**8 ball zucchini is a small round variety of zucchini. You can follow this same recipe with great success, but since 8 ball zucchini is round, you will want to knick a little bit off the bottoms of each zucchini so they don’t roll around in the pan.