When I was young, I absolutely LOVED The Waltons,

and I cannot think of Michael Learned without thinking of her as the mother of the clan.

But Michael is also in Murder, She Wrote

so she’s on my test cooking schedule for the next book…

Recently I invited Battenburgbelle over for a Monday evening dinner as she was off to Iceland, and I was off to Whitstable and we hadn’t seen each other for ages. I had stuff that needed using up in my fridge including 3 courgettes so I had my eye on Michael’s recipe.

I warned Cathy that dinner would be odd. But not as odd as the Jane Fonda Lasagna escapade… She texted to say, “I fear you are setting yourself a low bar if you are judging all meals against that lasagna.” Haha – she is a very generous dinner guest.

Jane Fonda’s “luminous lasagna”

We were both surprised by how good Michael’s zucchini dish was. Because really, there’s not much to it. But sometimes simplicity is good.

As Michael’s recipe is more of a template with no guide to ingredient amounts, here’s how I made it…

I had about 300g courgettes and about 400g minced beef. I fried up the mince first and set it aside as I got the onions, garlic, courgettes and tomatoes organized. I cooked the mix for about 20 minutes, then added the mince and cooked it for another 10. Wensleydale cheese was scattered over the top and I stuck it under the grill for about 10 minutes. It was TASTY!

We had it with Caesar Salad made to Grace Kelly’s recipe, but this time we coddled the egg Ruth Roman style.

Winner winner zucchini and Caesar salad dinner!

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