Zucchine alla Bella Napoli

Courgettes with Tomato and Mozzarella

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Preparation info

  • Difficulty

    Easy

  • Serves

    4

Appears in

The Italian Regional Cookbook

The Italian Regional Cookbook

By Valentina Harris

Published 2017

  • About

In this dish, sliced courgettes are dusted in flour then fried before being layered with tomato and mozzarella, and then baked. Although it is fairly labour intensive, the end result is delicious and the dish is lovely served hot or cold.

Ingredients

  • 6 courgettes/zucchini, thinly sliced lengthways
  • 50 g/2 oz dripping or white cooking fat
  • 45 ml/3 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 very small onion, finely sliced
  • 500 g/1 ¼ lb ripe tomatoes, quartered and seeds removed
  • 5 fresh basil leaves
  • 2.5 ml/½ tsp dried oregano
  • sunflower oil, for deep-frying
  • 30 ml/2 tbsp plain/all-purpose flour
  • 300 g/11 oz mozzarella, finely sliced
  • sea salt

Method

  1. Arrange the courgettes on a platter, sprinkle with salt and stand it in the sink. Lift it up at one end so that the platter remains on a slant and allows the juices to seep out into the sink. Leave for 1 hour.
  2. Meanwhile, heat the dripping or white cooking fat and olive oil in a large pan and fry the onion for about 10 minutes, until soft. Add the tomatoes, basil and oregano. Season with salt, then cover and simmer for 45 minutes.

  3. Push the tomato sauce through a sieve or strainer using the back of a spoon. Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F/Gas 4.
  4. Rinse and dry the courgettes on kitchen paper. Heat the sunflower oil in a large pan until a small piece of bread, dropped into the oil, sizzles instantly.

  5. Dust the courgette slices lightly in flour, then fry them carefully in hot oil, in batches, until lightly golden. Remove them with a slotted spoon and drain on kitchen paper. Set aside.
  6. Layer the courgettes, sauce and mozzarella in a shallow ovenproof dish, finishing with a layer of tomato sauce.

  7. Bake for 20 minutes and serve hot or cold.