A ripper dish made with love
In our new series Rolling Pins and Memories, we reveal secret recipes and the stories and traditions behind them. Featured this week is Harvey’s Rosie Ventrice with zucchini ripieni.
Zucchini Ripieni (stuffed zucchini)
1 cup of breadcrumbs
1/4 cup grated pecorino cheese
4 basil leaves chopped fine
1 clove of garlic diced
Salt and pepper to taste
1. Cut zucchini into rolls and put into boiling water for 10 minutes.
2. Drain and let cool.
3. With a sharp knife, cut the flesh inside of zucchini roll and put in a bowl with all the other ingredients. Mix together.
4. Stuff the zucchini rolls with the mixture and shallow fry until golden.
5. Sprinkle with grated cheese and garnish with basil. Buon Appetito.
Rosie Ventrice says the heart and soul of a home is in the kitchen.
The Italian Nonna is one of the town’s most renowned cooks. She bakes cannoli towers for people’s birthdays, lasagne for her neighbours and cakes for pretty much anyone who has a reason to celebrate.
She said her kitchen was for cooking, eating and entertaining family and friends.
Mrs Ventrice inherited her impeccable cooking skills from her mother, who would use a lot of fresh produce from the garden.
“We didn’t have a lot growing up,” Mrs Ventrice said.
“We left Italy after WWII for a chance at a better life.”
She recalled pasta being a staple part of her diet and said her family ate what they grew.
“On the special occasion we would have visitors, Dad would go out and kill a chook and we’d make soup or a sauce.
“I think that is why Italian cooking is so simple — people made do with what they had.”
Mrs Ventrice said zucchini ripieni was one of many simple Italian dishes that had been passed on through the generations.
“They are very tasty, my grandkids call them the Italian sushi,” she said.
Mrs Ventrice admitted to rarely using a cook book.
“All my recipes are in my head,” she said.
“I had to stop and think when you asked me to write down a recipe because I don’t use recipes, I just cook as I go.
“But, practice makes perfect and the more you cook, the better you’ll be.”
Mrs Ventrice said she felt proud to see her daughter and granddaughter carrying on the traditions.
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