Italian Spinach and Ricotta Zucchini Parcels

 Italian Spinach and Ricotta Zucchini Parcels

Italian Spinach and Ricotta Zucchini Parcels

Now you know it's my mission to get busy people into the kitchen and away from unhealthy processed foods and takeaways, so most of my recipes are designed to be super-simple and lightning-fast. This recipe is a little more time-consuming than my usual recipes but it is SO DELICIOUS, and a great way to pack a lot of veg into your day! And it looks so pretty, it is a great option if you are entertaining and want to serve something a little bit healthier!

Here's the recipe - and check out my step-by-step pics below too!

Ingredients

Zucchinis, the larger the better!

Sauce

1/2 bottle tomato passata
1 onion, finely diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 small handful basil leaves (sliced).
Splash of olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste

Stuffing

200g ricotta
1 onion, diced
1 clove garlic, minced
Splash of olive oil
2 bunches English spinach, washed and finely sliced (or 3 punnets baby spinach)

Method

Sauce

In a saucepan, saute onion and garlic in a little olive oil over a medium heat for a few minutes until it becomes translucent. 
Add tomato passata and basil leaves and allow to simmer while you prepare the rest of this dish.
Don't add your salt and pepper until the end as the sauce will reduce and the flavours will intensify!

Zucchinis

Wash your zucchinis and slice into fine strips. If you are using a mandolin to do this, don't slice them too finely, make sure you use the guard and BE CAREFUL! I personally don't use a mandolin, so I slice my zucchinis by hand. It takes a little practice, but you will quickly get the hang of it!
Arrange your sliced zucchinis on a baking tray lined with baking paper.
Cover with another layer of baking paper and play in a pre-heated oven (180 degrees celsius) for around 10 minutes. You don't want to fully cook the zucchinis, you just want to make them soft enough to be able to fold.
When the zucchinis have softened enough, remove from the oven and set aside to cool before you start making your parcels.

Stuffing

Place onion and garlic in a pan and saute in olive oil until translucent.
Add in finely sliced spinach (or the baby spinach) and cook down.
Once the spinach is cooked, remove from pan, place in collander and drain off all excess moisture (this bit is essential!).
Add the drained spinach mix to a bowl with the ricotta and mix to combine.
Taste a little and add salt and pepper to your taste.

To assemble the Zucchini Parcels

Arrange zucchini slices in a cross, add a spoonful of stuffing mix, fold over and turn the parcel over so it all stays together. See my step by step pics below!
Keep doing this until you have used all of your stuffing.

To bake

Place your tomato and basil sauce in the base of a baking tray.
Carefully add in your zucchini parcels on top of the sauce.
Bake in a pre-heated oven (180 degrees celsius) for 20-25 minutes

Serve and enjoy!