Love this vegetarian dish from Epicurious and the wonderful flavor of the peas with hints of mint and lemon. I made a few adjustments to the original recipe as I decided to simmer the crushed tomatoes with a lot of garlic, bayleaf and a bit of vodka, rather than just setting the zucchini rolls in the sauce and baking directly. I think it provides a richer and more complex flavor for the zucchini rolls and I love garlic! You do need a mandolin for this dish in order to obtain very thin zucchini ribbons (mine were about 1/8 of an inch), otherwise you have to be a very skilled knife handler. My pickiest veggie eater went back for seconds and really enjoyed this dish.
- Makes 4–6 servings
- 1 1/2 cups (180g) frozen peas
- 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
- 1 1/2 cups whole milk ricotta
- 2 cups baby spinach leaves, roughly chopped
- 1/4 cup finely chopped mint
- zest of one lemon
- Sea salt and cracked black pepper, to taste
- 3–4 zucchini, thinly sliced lengthwise using a mandolin (you’ll need about 24 long slices
- 1/2 cup grated mozzarella, plus more for sprinkling before baking (optional)
for red sauce:
- 2 -15 oz cans crushed tomatoes
- 5 cloves garlic, smashed (to release oils) and minced
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1 bayleaf
- 1 tablespoon vodka
- salt and pepper to taste
for red sauce: In a medium skillet, heat oil and butter on medium heat and add garlic, stirring until fragrant ( a minute or two). Add crushed tomatoes and remaining ingredients and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and cover to simmer for at least 30 minutes, stirring and adding a bit of liquid as necessary.
assemble rolls and bake: Preheat oven to 350°F. Thaw peas and place in a large bowl. Using a fork or potato masher, roughly mash the peas. Add the ricotta, spinach, mint, lemon zest, salt and pepper. Blend with the ricotta eggs and mozzarella.
Pour the cooked red sauce in the bottom of a baking dish approximately 8×12.
To make rolls, place a heaping tablespoon of the pea mixture at one end of each zucchini slice. Roll up the slices to enclose the filling. Carefully nestle the zucchini rolls into the dish so they fit snugly by tucking the ends of rolls against one another. Sprinkle with the zucchini rolls with an additional 1/4 cup of mozzarella for cheesier rolls (optional) and or until golden and cooked through about 30 minutes until rolls are golden on top and cooked through. Remove from oven and allow to cool for about 10 minutes. Serve rolls with spoonfuls of red sauce. Enjoy.
Recipe closely adapted from Epicurious.com