“What do you call a fake noodle? An im-pasta!” 🙂 That is exactly what this recipe is! Zucchini Ravioli with Spinach Ricotta Filling. It’s healthy, Italian inspired food that reminds me of the sights and smells of Roma.
Over the summer I was fortunate enough to spend two weeks exploring, and eating my way through, France and Italy. The trip was incredible, we saw amazing places and ate the most amazing food! Honestly, I think the number of photos we took of our meals is almost equal to the number of pictures we took of the architecture!!! The amount of love that goes into Italian food must be what makes it so good. They definitely do not eat to live, they live to eat! When we got home from our trip, so many people asked me if I was sick of pasta. NEVER. I think I could eat pasta almost every day, but that isn’t exactly good for my waist line! With all of the holidays coming up, I am trying to lighten up some of the dishes that I crave.
On this dreary November day, I am really missing Italy and want to jump into the kitchen to make something delicious. But how do you make classic Italian food healthy, without sacrificing the flavor? This is the biggest challenge with such a largely decadent cuisine, but I have the answer for you! ZUCCHINI NOODLES ARE YOUR NEW BEST FRIEND. Thats right, the zucchini becomes the noodle in my favorite Zucchini Ravioli recipe!
“Zoodles” as they have affectionately been renamed, are typically long and thin, twisting, delicious, pasta-less, noodles that you make with a tool called a spiralizer. (I have the OXO brand and it is one of my fave kitchen tools.) This recipe has a slightly different take, using wide pieces of zucchini, it’s even easier and you don’t need any special tools. Just a regular old vegetable peeler!
Seriously, this is my favorite dish ever! It is extremely easy and full of traditional flavors, without being heavy. Most nights when I make this there are no leftovers! On the rare occasion there are, these are just as delicious cold as they are heated up. And as healthy as they are, I don’t know if they stay that way when I eat a whole pan!
Zucchini Ravioli with Spinach Ricotta Filling
- 4 medium Zucchini (The thinner, but longer, ones work best. If they are too wide it will be very difficult to peel into slices.)
- 1 cup of Part-Skim Ricotta Cheese
- 1/4 cup of Parmesan Cheese
- 1 Egg
- 1/2 cup of Fresh Spinach, chopped
- 8-10 Fresh Basil Leaves, chopped
- 3/4 of a jar of Vodka Marinara Sauce (or 1 and 1/2 cups of Homemade!)
- 1/2 of a cup of Mozzarella Cheese
- 2 teaspoons of Olive Oil
- Salt and Pepper to taste
- Pre-heat the oven to 375 degrees.
- Using your vegetable peeler, slice the zucchini into thin, flat strips. Alternate sides until you reach the center and cannot peel any longer. Discard the center. (Or wrap and save for a later dish! Use within 1-2 days.)
- In a small mixing bowl, combine the ricotta, parmesan, egg, spinach, basil, salt and pepper.
- In a glass baking dish,cover the bottom with a light layer of your marinara sauce.
- Assemble the Zucchini: lay two strips side by side, slightly overlapping. Next take two more strips, again slightly overlapping, and lay them perpendicular on top of the first. (They should look like a + sign.)
- Spoon 1 Tbsp of the spinach ricotta mixture into the center of the squash. Fold the loose ends of the zucchini over the mixture to create the ravioli. Turn the ravioli over and place in the baking dish to seal the bottom.
- Top with olive oil, more sauce to your taste, and mozzarella. Salt and pepper lightly.
- Bake the ravioli for 30 minutes, until the “noodles” are al dente and the cheese is golden and bubbling. Serve with extra parmesan cheese and freshly chopped basil.
***Enjoy with a nice glass of red wine for a truly european experience! -Melissa ❤