Sicilian-style mini penne
- 60 min
- Kcal 205
The single serve zucchini flans are a no fuss appetizer or side dish (contorno): gluten free and vegetarian, delightful, and elegant - with the exquisite pink sauce - will make a vegetable lover out of anyone.
Did you know that the flan (sformato) is a quintessential humble Italian dish often overlooked, or snubbed, when encountered on menus? Hopefully this recipe will chance your perception.
In addition, whether it's zucchini season or not, the single serve flans could also be made with frozen zucchini, and you can personalize it to taste using different herbs, or adding capers and olives. The results will always be delicious. Guaranteed.
Check out other tasty flans:
In a large skillet with high sides, place the butter, olive oil and garlic. Start on medium heat until the garlic is fragrant, about 3 minutes.
Now add the onion and sautée until it becomes translucent.
Incorporate the zucchini, herbs and salt. Stir to coat in oil, and let the water in the vegetables evaporate. Mix every so often and make sure the vegetables don't burn, about 20 minutes (if using frozen zucchini it will require additional cooking time).
When the water has evaporated and the zucchini are soft, pour the wine into the pan. Increase heat to medium high. Cook until no more liquid is left and the vegetables are very soft, should take about 45 minutes.
Strain the zucchini mix while you get the oven warm, pre-heated to 350° F.
After you have strained the zucchini, you should not have more than 1/4 C liquid accumulated. Keep the liquids in case you might need it to thin out the pink sauce.
Return the zucchini to the pan and mash them with a fork or a potato masher.
Add the cheese, lemon zest and the eggs. If the mix is not cool enough, wait or the eggs will scramble.
Scoop the zucchini in each ramekin, evenly distributing it. You should not have any left.
Place the pan with the single serve zucchini flan in the oven, and pour cold water into the pan being careful not to get water into the flans.
The water level should reach half way the height of the ramekin.
Bake for 45 to 50 minutes. The flan will be lightly puffed and golden brown on top.
Lift each ramekin with tongs or a towel and let cool at room temperature for about 10 to 15 minutes before unmolding.
While they cool, prepare the sauce.
In a large bowl mix all the ingredients. Add mustard if you like.
All ingredients can be adjusted to taste. If the sauce is too thick, use the leftover liquid drained from the zucchini to thin it out.
The pink sauce is great also on steamed vegetable, meats or french fries.
To unmold the flan: run a knife counterclockwise on the inside circumference of the ramekin until you can feel the flan release. Unmold onto the chosen plate.
Spoon some of the pink sauce on it. Garnish with mint leaves and enjoy.
The baked flans keep for 3 days in the refrigerator. Just unmold and re-heat in the microwave for 30 seconds.
To prepare the bain-marie (or water bath) in which to cook the flan you will need the following items:
- a 9"x13" pan, at least 2" deep
- 6 x 4 oz ramekins
- non-stick spray
- gluten free flour or bread crumbs (or regular)
- a water pitcher filled with cold water
The preparation itself is easy: spray the non-stick on the ramekins and coat with flour. Spray again (this step will ensure a perfect release/unmold). Place the ramekins inside the baking pan and set aside.