Zucchini Rolls Stuffed with Ricotta
Here is a facsimile of a dish I had at the home of Karen Forhaltz and Michael Miele, The chef-owners of a nice little New York eatery called Amsterdam’s. The two restaurateurs are inveterate travelers to italy, and their table at home and restaurant are always full of good italian things to eat. There are three stages to this recipe: Making the sauce, pre-baking the sliced zucchini, and making the filling and stuffing the zucchini with it. I always like to make the tomato sauce, simple as it is, in advance, so that only two steps are necessary when it is time to assemble the dish.
AHEAD-OF-TIME NOTE: The tomato sauce can be made up to 3 days in advance, covered, and refrigerated. The zucchini slices can be baked, stuffed, covered, and refrigerated a day in advance. Pour the sauce over the top just before baking the rolls.
Total Timeunder 2 hours
OccasionCasual Dinner Party
Recipe Courseantipasto/mezze, appetizer
Dietary Considerationantipasto/mezze, appetizer
Taste and Texturecheesy, savory
- 1 recipe Sieved Tomato Sauce with Basil
- 4 young, firm zucchini (6 to 8 ounces each)
- Extra virgin olive oil for brushing on baking sheets and zucchini
- ¾ pound (1½ cups) ricotta, placed in a sieve for 1 to 2 hours to drain excess liquid
- ¼ cup freshly grated parmigiano
- 1/8 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
- 1 egg yolk
- Salt and freshly milled black pepper
First make the sauce. Meanwhile, Preheat an oven to 375 degrees F.
Cut off the stems and navels from the zucchini and cut lengthwise into 1/8-inch-thick slices. Lightly brush 2 baking sheets with olive oil. Place the zucchini slices on the sheets and brush the tops lightly with more olive oil. Bake in the preheated oven until soft but not browned, 15 to 20 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to cool.
While the zucchini is baking, smear the bottom of an 11-by-14-inch baking pan with some of the tomato sauce and set aside. Combine all the ingredients for the filling, including salt and pepper to taste, in a bowl. Using a wooden spoon, beat until smooth. Place a teaspoonful of filling at the wider end of each zucchini slice and roll up the slice. Stand the zucchini rolls in the baking dish on top of the smeared sauce. They should be placed like an upright wheel, and not laid flat with the filling facing up. Spoon additional sauce over the tops of the involtini. (You may have more sauce than you need; reserve what is left for some other use.)
Cover the baking dish loosely with aluminum foil, dull side out, and bake in the preheated oven until sizzling, about 30 minutes. Allow to settle for 10 minutes before serving. Serve hot or warm.
1993 Julia della Croce