I’ve noticed a few Facebook and Pinterest re-posts going around for something very similar to this. It seems to happen occasionally that I’ll put something on my menu plan and several weeks later when I’m finally getting to it it’s already hit the blog circuit. Does this mean I have awesome food instincts??
Yeah…unlikely, I know.
Well, whatever it is, I can’t be too far off the foodie path, I just wish sometimes that I had something with a little “wow” factor. Hopefully this will make someone happy, as it did me. I found this recipe through TLC’s Take Home Chef, but I had to adapt it quite a bit as I’ve noticed that chef Curtis Stone likes to really stretch his culinary skills and I’m just a bit of an underachiever most days
Cheesy Stuffed Zucchini with Ragu
1 T EVOO
1/2 medium onion, chopped
1 (14.5 oz) can diced tomatoes
1/2 cup red wine
1 (15 oz) can tomato sauce
2 tsp thyme
1 bay leaf
1 tsp basil
salt & pepper
extra zucchini, chopped*
3/4 cup ricotta cheese
3/4 cup grated or shredded mozzarella
1/2 grated Parmesan cheese
1. To get the ragu started it’s best if you have about an hour. First saute the onions in the EVOO, then add it to the diced tomatoes, extra zucchini, and the wine, with 1 tsp thyme and the bay leaf, over medium-high heat and reduce it by a third. Sauce will be thickened. (20-30 minutes)
2. Meanwhile, cut the zucchini in half lengthwise and spoon out the seeds. If the zucchini are still a bit hard inside just run a sharp knife down each side and score it a little. This will help when scooping out the seeds. *Also, if your zucchini are different lengths, you can cut them all the same and chop up the excess for the ragu, other wise I highly recommend you chopping up a fourth, smaller, zucchini to add to the sauce. It’s just a tomato sauce without it, and while it’s still good, the zucchini really adds something to it.
3. Combine the tomato sauce to your ragu along with the remaining tsp of thyme and the basil. Salt and pepper to taste and allow to simmer, stirring often, for another 30 minutes.
4. Preheat oven to 350*. Combine the three cheeses together in a small bowl using a fork. Season with pepper, and mound the cut-side of the zucchini with the cheese mixture.
5. Lightly spray a 7 x 11 baking dish. Spoon the ragu into the bottom of the dish and place the stuffed zucchini on top. Bake for 20 minutes. Then broil for an additional 10 minutes. Zucchini will be tender but if you prefer them more cooked through try pre-cooking them a bit before assembly or leaving it in the oven at 250* for an extra 15-20 minutes.
I served this over Parmesan Couscous and it was amazing. A very satisfying vegetarian and, if you serve it with rice, a gluten-free meal.