I was craving manicotti tonight but didn’t want to eat a super heavy meal of pasta and copious amounts of cheese. Well, let’s be honest. Of course I wanted to indulge in a huge portion of stuffed-to-the-gills pasta topped with another huge layer of cheese. I listened to the angel on my shoulder (yes, for those of you who know me, she does sometimes make an appearance) and decided to swap in the squash for the pasta so that I could have a similar texture and appearance, and I was quite happy! Plus, I didn’t feel guilty about mopping up the extra sauce with some crusty bread.
Squash and Ricotta “Manicotti”
- 1 yellow squash or zucchini
- 4-6 tsp. fresh ricotta cheese
- ½ tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
- ½ c. crushed tomatoes
- splash of red wine
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- ½ carrot, peeled and grated
- 2 T. grated onion
- olive oil
Preheat your oven to 375 degrees.
Heat 1 T. of olive oil in a pot. Add the carrot and onion, season with salt, and let them cook until turning brown. This will take about 15 minutes. Add in the wine and scrape the bottom of the pan to release any of the brown parts stuck to the pan. Add in the garlic and red pepper, stir, then add in the tomatoes. Season with salt and pepper and let the sauce simmer for 20 minutes. If it gets too thick for your preference, you can add a splash of stock to help thin it out.
Slice the squash into long planks and place them on a baking sheet. Season with salt and pepper and drizzle with olive oil. Roast in the oven just until tender; approximately 10-12 minutes. You want them to be pliable but not mushy.
Ladle the sauce into a shallow bowl. Spoon a tsp. of ricotta onto each one of the zucchini planks and roll each one up. Set them in the sauce and serve. If you have fresh herbs on hand, garnish with fresh herbs.