Tuesday, January 24, 2006

ARF/5-A-Day Tuesday #4: Cipolle Ripiene

Well, to you and me that’s just “Stuffed Onion”, but my, doesn’t it sound a hell of a lot better in Italian?

There are thousands of recipes out there, and mine is a variation of loads of them, driven by my desire to get as many vegetables and/or ARF foods into it,

As it was, I managed:

onions (obviously!), red pepper, carrot, courgette, garlic (does that qualify as a vegetable??!!)

My portion was served on a spinach salad (see above), and we also had mash from russet potatoes (well, at least I assume they were russet potatoes, I bought them at my wonderful Indian supermarket as ‘red’ potatoes). They made a lovely mash, which my three men enjoyed a lot (ultimate comfort food, apparently!). I had only a bit of that because I had added a generous knob of butter (how do you replace the butter in mash? Would olive oil have done? Joanna? What do you do?)

The following recipe is a rough approximation of what I did tonight.

Cipolle Ripiene


3 large Spanish Onions
½ pound of very lean turkey mince
1 red pepper
1 courgette, grated
1 carrot, grated
2 slices of prosciutto/Parma ham*
1 egg, beaten
½ pack of Philadelphia light
nutmeg, freshly grated
olive oil
1 chilli
salt, pepper
dash of tabasco


Pre-heat the oven to 200°C, grease a baking dish. Bring a large pot of salted water to the boil. Peel onions and slice off tops, boil them for 12-15 minutes until tender but not mushy; drain, cool, and remove centres, leaving shell intact. Chop centres. In the meantime, fry chopped tops and garlic, add mince meat and finely chopped pepper. In a large bowl, combine meat mixture, egg, cream cheese, vegetables, chopped onion centres, herbs and spices. Mix well. Place the onion shells in the greased baking dish, fill with meat mixture, sprinkle with breadcrumbs. Form any remaining mixture into balls and add to the dish. Cover dish and bake for 15 minutes. Uncover and bake for 5-15 minutes.
Serve on bed of spinach or rocket salad (with a balsamic, olive oil, mustard dressing) and/or potato mash.

* I actually use Schwarzwälder Schinken from Lidl, which is cheaper, and which I personally prefer.
** I had a lot of coriander to use up; any other fresh herb will do (in the various recipes, I came across basil, thyme, parsley, rosemary & oregano)

Other variants

Other combinations in terms of filling I came across: sausage meat instead of mince; chilli sauce, mustard, paprika, parmiggiano reggiano, 1 amaretti (crushed), thin breadsticks (crushed), 1 TBsp grappa; grated cheddar, tomato sauce, capers, anchovies, pine nuts, bread, borlotti beans, olives, peas, chopped mushrooms, ¼ cup dried cranberries, ¼ cup currants, white wine

In one version, each stuffed onion was topped with mashed potato


Well, it looks great, but to be quite honest, it’s not really worth all the bother. Still, I’d call it a success, as everyone finished everything, which means they’ve all ingested vegetables they wouldn’t normally have eaten.


PS: Where did this week go?
PPS: I lost 1 kg (14 to go...), even though I didn’t go teetotal, and despite my working through the nut bowl! Yeah!!!


ggpaborito said...

Hey I'm Ging from the blog of "ggpaborito". I like these dish of your's. So very Oniony...It was great when I tried your style.GOOD Taste..........

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Joanna said...

Hi ... I don't use butter at all any more, which occasionally makes for problems. Not with mash, though, because olive oil is even better. Also grainy mustard, or pesto. I sometimes use 0% yoghurt, it gives it a sharp flavour that goes well with fish and spinach or sorrel. I have a feeling that low fat Philadelphia would be good. although I've never tried it. But olive oil is my standard.

Your onions sound great - I'll try it later in the week.
Best wishes,

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