Cookbook:Qarabagħli Mimli (Maltese Stuffed Summer Squash)

Cookbook | Ingredients | Recipes


A kilo of zucchini or firm, larger squashes (cucurbits).

Meat Filling

  • 500g minced lean pork
  • 2 rashers rind-less smoked back bacon, finely chopped
  • 2 heaped tbsp. grated salt cured cheese (sheep or goat's milk, or Parmigiano-Reggiano)
  • a slice of day old bread soaked in milk and wrung out
  • half a small onion finely chopped and sweated until soft in a mixture of oil and butter
  • 1 tbsp. chopped flat leaf parsley leaves
  • 2 beaten eggs
  • salt and pepper
  • dry breadcrumbs or medium coarse semolina mixed with grated cheese for topping

Ricotta Filling

  • 450 g well drained fresh sheep's milk ricotta
  • 100 g grated Pecorino cheese (Romano type or with peppercorns)
  • 2 tbsp. chopped flat leaf parsley or fresh marjoram leaves
  • 2 beaten eggs
  • salt and pepper
  • dry breadcrumbs or medium coarse semolina for topping
  • 1 cup fresh tomato sauce for serving

Meat and Rice Filling

  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 cup uncooked round or long grain rice
  • 1 cup Bolognese type meat sauce diluted with half a cup of water
  • 1/2 tsp mixed spice
  • 1 large beaten egg
  • salt and pepper
  • extra grated cheese for topping

Method for FillingEdit

  1. Depending on the size of the cucurbits/squash, either cut off a lid and use whole or else cut in half.
  2. Carefully scoop out flesh leaving enough a 1 cm thick shell or boat to fill. The removed flesh can be diced and added to the filling ingredients
  3. Mix together all the filling ingredients and fill the scooped out squashes with the mixture, remembering not to fill to the top as the eggs (and rice if using) will expand
  4. Dip the top of each filled squash in the topping ingredients (or sprinkle evenly on top) to help seal the filling in.

Methods for CookingEdit


  • You can bake in a greased baking dish alone or on a bed of medium thick sliced potatoes and onions seasoned with salt, pepper and optional caraway seed, moistened with stock or water. Temperature 180 ° C; Time about 35/ 40 minutes. Cook covered with foil for 30 minutes then uncover so the top crisp up. Suitable for all 3 fillings.

Pot Roasting

  • You can place them closely packed into a pot that you fill with water to just over half way up the squash. If you like you may set on a bed of chopped onion and some of the pulp drizzled with a 1 tbsp. of olive oil and optional tomato paste. Cook on medium heat and covered with a lid till the squashes are tender and the rice or meat filling cooked through, about 35 minutes.

Cooking in Broth

  • Place well filled and carefully sealed squash in a simmering meat broth (made with root vegetables and meat bones)and simmer on low heat for about 40 minutes. You can serve the strained broth as a first course and the vegetables and stuffed squash as a second course.

Note Not suitable for the ricotta filling