Less than 1 hr
Cheesy Ragu Stuffed Zucchini
- 1 lb ground beef, pork, or lamb
(I like a mix of half lamb, half pork)
- 1 tbsp olive oil or butter
- ¼ c tomato paste
- 1 carrot, finely grated
- 1 stick celery, finely chopped
- 1 small onion, diced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- ½ tsp nutmeg
- ¼ tsp cinnamon
- Salt & pepper to taste
- ½ to 1 tsp chili flakes (optional)
- 4 small zucchini
- 1 cup shredded mozzarella
- 1 ½ to 2 cups ricotta cheese
- 2 c mixed salad greens
- handful of tomatoes, cubed
- Grated Parmesan to garnish
Step by Step Instructions
Trim ends from Zucchini and par-boil on a hard boil for 10 min, until they begin to soften – but don’t cook them through!
While zucchini are par-boiling, add butter to a heavy pan over medium high heat and sauté onions until they begin to turn translucent. Add carrots, celery, and garlic and sauté until they begin to soften – about 5 min more. Turn heat down to medium and add ground meat, salt and pepper, and sauté until meat is cooked through. Add tomato paste, cinnamon, chili flakes, nutmeg, and ricotta, and mix well. Cook for a few minutes more, then remove from heat and set aside to cool.
When zucchini are finished par-boiling use tongs to remove them from boiling water to a cold water bath to cool them down. When the zucchini are cool enough to handle cut them in half length wise and scoop out the seedy pulp from inside with a spoon. You can use the pulp in the stuffing if you like, but I find it makes the stuffing too watery. (Toss it into the compost, or if you are like me and hate to waste, set it aside and add it to your morning smoothie!) Set zucchini on a clean kitchen towel cut side down to help them release a little more water.
and Step 4
Set oven to 375°. Line a sheet pan with parchment paper and place zucchini in rows on the pan. Use a spoon to scoop the meat and ricotta mixture into the hollowed zucchinis. There’s lots of filling, so heap it on! When each zucchini is filled, sprinkle with mozzarella, pop the pan in the oven and bake until the cheese is nicely browned – about 25 to 30 min.
Make beds of greens on four plates and scatter cubed tomatoes along the sides. Place two zucchini halves on each bed of greens sprinkle with Parmesan and fresh cracked pepper – Serve piping hot and enjoy!