Because when life gives you zucchini, you turn it into something super cheesy.
Or at least that’s the way I like to do it, but then you guys know how much I love cheese! And yes, I did make us ravioli using zucchini “noodles”. I know I am typically all about real deal pasta, but you know, sometimes swapping veggies for carbs just works better. A tip though…serve this with bread. You know, for dipping into that homemade tomato sauce. <–oooops, you knew I’d sneak those carbs in somewhere!
*side note*–> I just re-read that very first line of this post and I swear I didn’t mean for it to sound so cheesy, but I kind of like it.
Anyway, I feel like this is a quintessential way to use up all the zucchini that summer has been offering us. I mean, what could be better than zucchini stuffed with not one, not two, but THREE cheeses. Answer? Nothing, this dish is so delicious even you pasta lovers out there will love this recipe.
Trust me, if we all love it over here, you will to!
Okay, here’s the deal, I’ve been wracking my brain all summer long, trying to come up with some new and exciting zucchini recipes. I feel like zucchini noodles have been done over and over again. And I feel like zucchini lasagna is a pretty common thing as well. So then I got to thinking a little further and wondered about a cheese stuffed zucchini ravioli thing.
Originally this recipe was supposed to use real, deal pasta, but when I had the idea to use the zucchini noodles as pasta, I just knew I had to combine my two recipe ideas and make them into one. It’s summer and I feel like lighter dishes are welcomed…right? Say yes!
So this (finally) brings us to the recipe!
It’s zucchini (I also used yellow summer squash) wrapped around a bundle of cheese (hello to ricotta, feta, and parmesan), then served over a warm batch of homemade roasted tomato sauce.
This is basically summer in a baking dish and I love it.
The recipe starts off by making the tomato sauce, but don’t worry there’s nothing hard about this tomato sauce. Then add everything to a baking dish and throw it in the oven for fifteen minutes or so. Pretty stinking simple.
While the sauce is doing its thing in the oven, start making the ravioli. I like to use a mandolin to uniformly cut my zucchini into eighth inch slices, but a vegetable peeler will work great too! Then mix up your cheeses in a bowl and it’s assembly time.
I took a few photos of the process for you guys so you could see how I wrapped up my ravioli, but it’s really as simple is taking four zucchini “noodles” making a star with them and then wrapping the ends up and around the cheese. See? Simple!
Now take those ravioli and lay them in the baking dish with all those flavorful tomatoes and bake a few minutes more, until the ravioli are warmed throughout and that cheese is a melty inside.
Top with fresh herbs (I used basil and thyme), and plenty of shaved parmesan, and then…dig in.
Oh, and lastly, add that piece of fresh bread for the extra sauce. <– do it, I promise you will not regret it.
I’ve got to say…Thursday night dinner never looked so good. And even though this recipe is pretty easy and pretty healthy, it’s also fun enough to serve up on a Friday or Saturday night too. Maybe add a fun cocktail or glass of wine and then finish the night off with a summer galette?
Yup, I’d say that right there is my kind of Friday night.
3 Cheese Zucchini "Ravioli" with Roasted Tomato Basil Sauce
- 2 heirloom tomatoes, sliced
- 1 cup cherry tomatoes
- 4 cloves garlic, minced or grated
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- large handful fresh basil, roughly chopped
- 4 sprigs fresh thyme
- 1 pinch crushed red pepper flakes
- kosher salt and pepper
- 3 medium zucchini or summer squash
- kosher salt and pepper
- 1 cup whole milk ricotta cheese
- 1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese
- 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.
In a baking dish, layer the tomato slices and cherry tomatoes. Add the olive oil, balsamic vinegar, basil, thyme, crushed red pepper, and a pinch each of salt and pepper. Toss lightly to combine. Bake for 15 minutes or until the tomatoes begin to burst.
Meanwhile, make the ravioli. Using a mandolin or vegetable peeler, peel the zucchini into 1/4 inch wide strips and lay them flat on a paper towel lined counter. Sprinkle the zucchini with salt.
In a medium bowl, combine the cheeses, basil, and a pinch each of salt and pepper.
Grab 4 zucchini "noodles" and layer them to make a star. Start with 1 noodle, then add another to make a X. Now make another X with the remaining 2 noodles that will overlap with the current X (see above photo). Spoon about 1 tablespoon of filling onto the center of the zucchini. Bring the ends of the zucchini together, laying them over the cheese. Repeat with remaining zucchini and filling.
Remove the tomatoes from the oven and lay the ravioli seam side down in the sauce. Drizzle the ravioli lightly with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Bake for 15 minutes or until the ravioli is warmed though. Serve with fresh basil and grated parmesan. Enjoy!
Pretty healthy food you say? Yep, going with it!