July – Stop Taking Away My Noodles!

The title of this post was Zeus’ response to my suggestion of making zucchini lasagna. We were trying to find a recipe for July’s meal of the month, and that was all I could think of to make with the ingredients that were already in the fridge. But then my mom tagged me in one of those Facebook recipe videos for Zucchini Ravioli. The only thing I needed to pick up was ricotta cheese, so I went with that.

Zucchini Ravioli

Now, this recipe did not call for meat, so knowing how my husband reacted to no noodles, I decided to add some. We had a package of bison meat in the freezer, so I thawed it out and then cooked it in a pan over medium heat with some salt, pepper, garlic, and red pepper flakes.

Next, I made the cheese mixture—ricotta cheese, an egg, parmesan cheese, basil, salt, and pepper. I added about three quarters of the meat here too.

Then it was time to cut the zucchini. The recipe says to use a vegetable peeler to slice the zucchini, but we don’t have one of those, so I used a mandolin slicer instead. It worked well, though it didn’t get them quite thin enough.

IMG_8429

The next step is assembling each piece of ravioli. You place 2 pieces (the recipe says 4, but mine were thick enough to just do 2) of zucchini over top of one another in an “X” pattern. Then, you place a spoonful of the cheese/meat mixture in the middle and fold them up. The thickness and shortness of the zucchini was a bit problematic, but we made it work with some toothpicks.

I still had some of the cheese/meat mixture, so I piled it on top of all the ravioli. Then, I topped it all with some marinara sauce and mozzarella cheese.

IMG_8435

(^ Yoda is eating some of the mozzarella cheese that fell on the floor.)

I baked it at 375 degrees F and we waited patiently for 30 minutes for it to be ready.

IMG_8437

The Verdict: It was worth the wait. I had 3 ravioli and Zeus had 1 (said he wasn’t hungry, but fine, more for me and more for leftovers). They were delicious and cheesy and awesome. The zucchini were done, but still added a bit of crunch to every bite. By the time you cut into each one, all the cheese just kind oozed out all over the place. So it wasn’t like real ravioli, but it was great nonetheless.

I would definitely add some fresh garlic to the cheese mixture, or at least to the meat when cooking. The recipe called for a few cloves, but never said when to use them, and I forgot so they didn’t get used.

I don’t know that I would make these again. Wrapping up each individual ravioli was a bit tedious, and difficult because the zucchini weren’t as thin as they needed to be, or as long. I would make a zucchini lasagna for sure, and it would be much easier. Zeus will just have to get over the lack of noodles 😉

Zucchini Ravioli

Ingredients:

  • 4 medium zucchini
  • 2 cups ricotta
  • 1/2 cup finely grated parmesan, plus more for garnish
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 1/4 cup thinly sliced basil, divided
  • 1 garlic clove, minced (you need way more than 1. Try like 4 at least)
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 1/2 cup marinara sauce (or just use a whole jar)
  • 1/2 cup shredded mozzarella
  • Optional: 1-2 lbs. of your meat of choice (bison, turkey, ground beef, etc)

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Grease a large baking dish with olive oil. (I just used a butter cooking spray)
  2. Make the Noodles: Slice two sides of each zucchini lengthwise to create two flat sides. Using a vegetable peeler, slice each zucchini into thin flat strips, peeling until you reach the center. These are your “noodles.”
  3. If using meat, cook over medium heat until brown.
  4. Make the Filling: Combine ricotta, parmesan, egg, garlic, and 2 tablespoons basil in a medium bowl. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Add meat if applicable.
  5. Assemble the Ravioli: Lay 1-2 strips of zucchini noodles so that they overlap lengthwise. Lay 1-2 more noodles on top, perpendicular to the first strips. You should end up with a “X” shape. Spoon about 1 tablespoon of filling in the center of the zucchini. Bring the ends of the strips together to fold over the center, working one side at a time. Turn the ravioli over and place in the baking dish seam-side down. Pour marinara sauce around the zucchini. Top ravioli with mozzarella. Bake until the zucchini noodles are “al dente” and the cheese is melted and starting to brown on top; 30 minutes.
  6. Top with more basil and parmesan and serve.
Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s