This recipe is Living and breathing proof that my incessant love for cookbooks pays off after all. Through my hours off reading cookbooks like they were the Harry Potter series, I end up with an idea like this one. From time to time at least….
Zucchini Involtini…you read it right. I had never heard of a dish called Involtini before a few days ago. I was flipping through my Americas Test Kitchen TV Show Cookbook looking for some ideas and the recipe that caught my attention was my inspiration for this dish. It was their eggplant Involtini.
Check that out here: The Complete America’s Test Kitchen TV Show Cookbook
That got my gears turning, and I almost immediately knew where I wanted to take my version of the recipe.
After a little googling, I found that “Involtini” means small bite or bundle of food with some kind of wrap or outer layer. That’s an easy enough rule to abide by to call a dish Involtini. I also found, after reading more about this dish, that there are hundreds of different varieties. However, I still didn’t see one like I had planned on doing…
Of course you know by the title I use zucchini. If you’ve looked through my recipes or have been following Let the Food Out for awhile, you will have seen that I’ve posted a lot of zucchini recipes. I’m always looking for more interesting, tasty, and EASY ways to use zucchini. It’s so good but I feel like we used to discredit it as a worthy meal ingredient, only because we didn’t know what to do with it! Hence, why I’ve been trying to do more and more with zucchini. Check out my other ones at these links below:
This dish looks like it rolled out on a fancy cart covered and on a silver platter, but anyone can make it! Just take each step slowly and carefully. Don’t rush! That’s my biggest mistake in the kitchen! Not unlike the banana bread that baked for 5 minutes without the flour just a few minutes ago! (Don’t worry I fixed it and all looks well!)
I can almost PROMISE that you’ll be impressed with this dish when your done, and so will your guests…or anyone you serve it to for that matter. It’s looks AND tastes amazing. Give it a shot and let me know how it goes!
- 2 medium to large zucchini, sliced lengthwise 1/2 inch thick
- 1/2 medium onion, diced small
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 29 oz can of whole peeled tomatoes
- 1 tsp oregano plus more for garnish
- pinch red pepper flakes
- salt and pepper
- olive oil
- 1 cup ricotta cheese
- 1/2 cup mozzarella, shredded and 1/4 cup additional
- 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, shredded fine and 1/4 cup additional
- In a 12″ non stick skillet over medium-high heat, heat 1 tsp olive oil until just smoking. Reduce heat to medium, then saute zucchini planks 3 at a time, taking care not to brown, but soften by frying. This should take 3-4 minutes each side. Use your cooking utensil to lift up an end of the piece of zucchini to check to see if they are flexible enough for rolling. If not, saute for a few more minutes until ready. Prepare all zucchini planks and set aside.
- Prepare the sauce. In a large, high sided skillet, heat 1 tbsp of olive oil over medium high heat until just smoking. Add in onions and 1/2 tsp salt and saute for 5 minutes or until soft and translucent. Add garlic, oregano, and red pepper flakes and saute for one more minute.
- Add in whole tomatoes. Using a potato masher or other cooking utensil, break up the whole tomatoes so they are bit sized pieces, 1-2 inches. Stir well, bring mixture to a simmer, cover and cook for 10-15 or until the tomato sauce begins to thicken. Off the heat, leave covered and set aside.
- While the sauce simmers, prepare the filling. Mix the ricotta, mozzarella, parmesan, and 1/2 tsp of salt in a small bowl.
- Begin filling the zucchini, by starting with the widest short end close to you. Spoon 2-3 tbsp of filling onto each zucchini and roll away from you until they are fully rolled. Place all of them seam side down in the sauce with room around each. Sprinkle each roll with more mozzarella and Parmesan.
- Bring everything back to simmer over medium high heat and simmer 5-10 minutes until filling begins to melt and start to run out of the rolls. Serve immediately with more oregano and parm.