This recipe is the result of being both inventive and lazy! We had very little on hand in terms of groceries one night and I didn’t feel up to going to the store, so I had to get creative. Thus, ricotta stuffed zucchini was born! (I need to come up with a more unique name…any suggestions?)
I love stuffing things into zucchinis and I love stuffed shells. (And I love anything with ricotta cheese!) I had some leftover ricotta and I thought, why not combine the two? It was so good and completely satisfying- just like a pasta dish but better! It’s like a healthy, delicious version of baked stuffed shells or manicotti. I know I stumbled on a winning recipe here and I have since made over and over again.
Simply slice the zucchini in half longways and hollow them out into what I call ‘zucchini boats.’ Season them lightly with salt and pepper. Then, make a simple ricotta mixture with ricotta cheese, egg, parmesan cheese, spinach, salt and pepper. Next, stuff the zucchinis generously, drizzle them with marinara sauce and some diced tomatoes (totally optional). Bake at 375 degrees for about 30 minutes. Finally, garnish with shredded parmesan cheese.
When done, the zucchini should be able to be pierced easily with a pairing knife, but still firm enough to hold their shape. I let them sit for about 10 minutes to rest and set up, as I always do when I bake anything with ricotta cheese.
I later discovered that these stuffed zucchinis are an excellent party dish because they can be prepared in advance and baked right before serving. They stay hot for a good while and are easy to serve as individual portions.
Serve these with a simple salad of mixed greens on the side, just like you would a pasta dish. Mmm Mmm Good!