stuffed summer squash

Last Monday, Farmer Pete had too many squashes, so he told us -his lucky customers- to take as many as we wanted. I took a lot. Really a lot. After making a big pot of soup and a good-sized bowl of ratatouille, there were still some left. In fact I kept the cute spherical ones for last. I didn't know yet what to do with them but I was pretty sure that I would end up doing something nice. These "stuffed summer squash" are inspired by the "verdurine ripiene" we usually eat during summer in Italy at my in-laws'. 

stuffed summer squash
(serves 4 to 6)

summer squashes (+/- 500 gr)
potato (1 medium)
onion (1 small, chopped)
dried porcini mushrooms (a small handfull)
garlic (1 clove)
Parmesan cheese (+/- 75gr, grated)
day old bread + milk optional (1 slice) 
mortadella or ham or whatever you have in hand to give some flavor (1 slice, ground)
eggs (2)
salt and pepper
bread crumbs

1. Soak the dried porcini mushrooms in warm water for about 10 minutes.
2. Wash the squashes. Cut the top part. Boil them (both tops and bottoms) in slightly salty water for less than 10 minutes (they should not be fully cooked). Drain well. Scoop out the pulp from the bottom parts with a teaspoon. Remove the excess water from the pulp. Set aside. 
3. Mix the top parts in an electric chopper and add it to the other pulp. Set aside.
4. Boil the potato. Mash it with a fork. Set aside.
5. Heat a sauce pan on medium high. Add the olive oil and the chopped onion.
6. Add the chopped porcini mushrooms (soaked, rinsed, and chopped). Cook for a couple of minutes.
7. Add the garlic.
8. Add the squash pulp and the boiled potato and cook for one more minute. Set aside in a medium bowl.
9. When the mixture has cooled down a bit, add the eggs, the grated Parmesan cheese, the ground mortadella, some marjoram, salt, pepper.  Mix well all the ingredients.
10. At this point, add some bread soaked in milk (if the filling seems too dense) OR add some bread crumbs (if the filling seems too liquid). The filling's consistency should be soft but not liquid. it should partially retain its shape.
11. Fill the squash shells with the mixture and place them in the greased baking pan.
12. Then sprinkle with breadcrumbs and some olive oil or butter.
13. Bake for about 35-40 minutes or until golden brown in a preheated oven at 375F.
14. Serve at room temperature.

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