Mrs. B gave me a wonderful idea for a post today: Recipe Swap! Zucchini is one of my favorite summer veggies. It can be used for almost anything. Plus, for those of us who are trying to lose weight, it is a very versatile vegetable.
This is my favorite pasta recipe for zucchini and worked very well for friends who had kids that refused to eat any kind of vegetable. I love being sneaky! Please post your favorite zucchini recipes in the comments section!
serves about 10
You Will Need
12 oz (1 box) jumbo pasta shells (approx. 40 shells)
1 (28oz) can peeled plum tomatoes
1 (14oz) can peeled plum tomatoes
2 teaspoons olive oil
3/4 cup chopped red onion
4 cloves garlic, sliced thin or pressed - I press my garlic
Salt and Pepper (to taste) - I never use salt
2 - 4 sprigs of fresh basil
1 lb bag of baby spinach
2 tspns olive oil
2 medium zucchini, halved lengthwise and sliced thin (use a mandolin if you have one)
2 scallions, chopped
2 cups (16 oz) part-skim ricotta cheese
1 1/2 cups shredded reduced fat part-skim mozzarella cheese
1 thin slice ham, chopped
2 Tbsp fresh parsley, chopped
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
Pinch grated nutmeg
Salt and Pepper (to taste)
1. Spray a baking sheet lightly with cooking spray. Bring a large pot of water to boil. Add shells and cook partially (they should still be firm) for 6 to 7 minutes. Drain in colander and immediately transfer to baking sheet. Spread out so they do not stick together.
2. Pour tomatoes into a bowl and mash with hands or in a food processor. Heat olive oil in large saucepan over medium-low heat. Add onion and garlic and cook for about 1 minute. Cover, reduce heat to low. Add tomatoes with juice and basil. Bring to a simmer and cover for 5 minutes. After 5 minutes, partially cover until thickened (about 20 minutes). Remove from heat and set aside.
3. Add spinach to a skillet. Place over medium heat, cover and cook, tossing every now and then with tongs until wilted. Drain and let cool. Chop and transfer to a bowl. Set aside.
4. Using the same skillet heat oil over medium heat. Add zucchini and cook until tender and lightly browned. Add scallions and cook with zucchini for about a minute. Add to the bowl of spinach. Add the ricotta, the ham and 1/2 cup of mozzarella, the parsley and nutmeg. Stir to combine.
5. Pre-heat oven to 350.
6. Spoon a thin layer of sauce over the bottom of a two 9 X13" baking dishes. Fill cooked shells with the cheese mixture (about 1 Tbsp/shell) and arrange shells side-by-side in prepared dishes. Spoon remaining sauce over the shells. Sprinkle remaining mozzarella and 1/4 cup of Parmesan.
7. Cover with aluminum foil and bake until filing is heated through and cheese is melted (25-30 minutes).
- from Cook Yourself Thin
*If you're making this a magical recipe, you can obviously add intentions or "extra ingredients" as needed. Whenever I cook something I add intentions and love while mixing the ingredients together. With this recipe you can add your specific intentions when mixing the cheeses together or when sprinkling them over the shells before baking.