Continuing our quest to help those who don’t like vegetables, here’s a way to enjoy zucchini even if you don’t enjoy zucchini. I think it works really well to substitute for pasta and with enough cheese and sauce you might not notice taste or texture issues that would keep you from enjoying (or at least tolerating) the vegetable substitution. Plus, if you’re looking two get two birds with one stone, you can lower your carbs from refined white flour (most pastas) and replace with a vegetable!
Thinly slice the zucchini lengthwise to make flat “noodle” strips. A mandolin works great for this, and large zucchini work well:
Microwave the slices for a minute or two to slightly cook and let some of the liquid release, then drain in a colander or on a paper towel.
Then roll up your slices around a couple of tablespoons of riccota cheese filling – mix with spices, shredded mozarella or parmesan cheese, maybe an egg first. Tuck the zucchini/cheese rolls into a baking dish with a bit of pasta sauce in the bottom:
Top with more pasta sauce – add ground beef or sausage to the sauce if you’d like – and then mozzarella and/or parmesan, and bake in 350˚F oven until the cheese is slightly browned and the sauce is bubbly.
If the “noodles” are too “al dente” or too firm to cut easily, you may have to try pre-cooking longer before rolling up. You could also make lasagna just keep the slices flat, like lasagna noodles.
A similar version using “zoodles” – spiralized zucchini strands – works really well as a veggie-rich version of baked spaghetti or baked ziti!