The Hippo


May 28, 2020








 Zucchini “ravioli”

Recipe adapted from Delish US
Extra-virgin olive oil, for greasing baking dish
4 medium zucchini
2 cups ricotta
½ cup finely grated Parmesan, plus more for garnish
1 cup shredded mozzarella
1 large egg
Garlic salt to taste
Italian seasonings to taste
1½ cups marinara
Preheat oven to 375 degrees and grease baking dish with olive oil. To make the noodles, slice the zucchini lengthwise to create two flat sides. Using a vegetable peeler, slice the zucchini into thin, flat strips to use for the “noodles.” Set the sliced zucchini aside, and make the filling, combining the cheeses, egg and salt and spices, but reserving some Parmesan cheese for garnish. To assemble the ravioli, lay two zucchini strips vertically and two horizontally, intersecting in the middle to make a lowercase T shape. Spoon about a tablespoon of filling into the middle of the zucchini, and then fold the ends of the zucchini to the center, working one side at a time. Place the ravioli seam-side-down in the baking dish. Repeat with remaining zucchini and filling. Spoon marinara on top of ravioli, and garnish with additional Parmesan cheese. Bake until the zucchini noodles are “al dente” and the cheese is melted, about 30 minutes. 

Zucchini “ravioli”


 Now that my parents are truly empty-nesters, they’ve been spending a lot of time on new hobbies. This summer they’ve taken up a vegetable garden, and to surprisingly abundant results. While most things have grown in proportion to what my parents will eat, the zucchini yield from the garden continues to astound me. Giant zucchinis seem to sprout up every day, and my parents have taken to giving them away to neighbors, relatives and business acquaintances — basically anyone who will take them. 

This is how I found myself with three enormous zucchinis after a trip to my parents’ house last week. While my sister turned her vegetable gifts into breads and muffins, I was looking for a recipe that would be a little friendlier to my waist line and after a few online searches found several recipes for zucchini “ravioli.” Instead of pasta the recipe called for the shell, or the actual ravioli, to be made from layered zucchini, while the filling could be just about anything you could come up with.  
I opted to use my mom’s recipe for stuffed shell filling — ricotta, mozzarella, Parmesan, egg, garlic and Italian seasonings — and decided to try my hand at making zucchini ravioli. Let me tell you, this is my new favorite dinner. 
I could not believe how well the ravioli turned out. The zucchini was just the right texture. It was soft enough to remind me of biting into a traditional pasta ravioli but still had a bite to it. I was worried that the filling would ooze out the sides and I’d be left with a giant cheese and zucchini soup, but the vegetable slices held together well. Though the casserole dish had a bit more liquid in it than I would like when I pulled it out of the oven, I let it rest for a few minutes before serving, and the liquid seemed to be absorbed into the ravioli. 
I told my husband I could just imagine the ravioli breaded and deep fried, but I suppose that takes away the health-conscious element of the recipe. Either way, this ravioli-alternative recipe is one I’ll be sharing with my friends and my parents, so hopefully they can turn their giant zucchini harvest into a few delicious dinners. 
— Lauren Mifsud 

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