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Friday, June 10, 2011

Zucchini and Eggplant Stuffed Lumaconi

This is my first time stuffing pasta.. very delightful experience! Lumaconi are like huge thick macaroni that you can spoon your stuffing into before popping into the oven for a heat-through. Stuffing the pasta with a magical mixture is a little laborious, but well worth the effort!
Serves 5-6

1 bag Lumaconi (500g), cooked al dente and drained
2 zucchini, chopped
2 eggplants, cubed
4 tomatoes, cubed
3 cloves garlic, minced
3 tbsp EVOO
2 balls fresh mozzarella, sliced thinly
2 handfuls shredded swiss
salt/fresh ground pepper
1 cup pesto (mine was thick)

If making your own pesto, here's what I blended together:
1 large bunch fresh basil
a chunk of parmesan
4 cloves garlic
2 tbsp Walnut oil (I didn't have toasted pine nuts)
lots of EVOO
1/4 cup heavy cream

1. Heat the EVOO in a heavy based pan and throw in the veggies and garlic. Add a little salt and pepper to sweat the veggies. Stir around and cook until very soft, about 15 - 20 minutes.
2. Pour in the pesto and 1 handful shredded swiss. Heat through and add salt and fresh ground pepper until it tastes divine.
3. Preheat the oven to 400°F and start stuffing your lumaconi and placing them inside their baking dish. You will burn your hands.
I put 1 tbsp of the sauce mixture + a small piece of mozzarella into each lumaconi. You should hopefully have enough stuffing for all, otherwise, just hide the unstuffed ones under the rest.
4. Once everyone is stuffed and you have no more sauce (if you do, pour it over the rest), sprinkle the remaining handfull of shredded swiss on top and pop into the oven until the cheese melts (about 10-15 minutes).

Serve hot and enjoy and be surprised your husband and/or guests didn't even notice there was NO MEAT!!
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