Zucchini “Ravioli”

We used to love “splurging” every now and again and eating that frozen meat-filled ravioli with spaghetti sauce and loads of cheese on top, baked in the oven.  There is not much about that now that fits in to our diet, other than the spaghetti sauce.  It seems hardest to re-create your favorite Italian dishes since they almost always involve pasta and lots of cheese, so when I saw a recipe with “Paleo” and “Ravioli” in the same line it immediately had my interest.  Like the “lasagna” that I’ve posted in the past, the ravioli is made with zucchini.

DSC02128

Mine did not turn out near as pretty as that shown on the website I got the recipe from.  I also did not include the cheese that it calls for, and I used ground beef instead of ground chicken.  I used regular spaghetti sauce over the top instead of making an alfredo-like sauce.

At the time I made this, I was new to using our food processor.  The machine and I just could not get along, making the slicing of the zucchini turn out to be a disaster.  The zucchini that you can get in the winter are also not very big, which made it hard to wrap the slices, and my slices were way too thick to hold together with a toothpick as shown in the actual recipe.  Fortunately enough for me, I am not getting judged for food presentation, so as long as it tasted good I didn’t care (after getting over the anger & frustration of trying to make it look good and failing!!)  It took some prep time, but in the end we both liked it so I guess it’s worth it right?  Make sure you look at the website below to see how it’s actually supposed to look, it will remind you more of ravioli.

The original recipe can be found at :

http://cupcakesomg.blogspot.com/2012/08/paleo-ravioli.html

Here’s what I did:

Ingredients:

-4 medium to large yellow squash

-1 tbsp cooking oil of your choice

-1 lb ground beef

-1 8-oz package of frozen spinach, thawed

-1 small onion, diced

-garlic, salt, pepper, etc. to taste

-1 jar of spaghetti sauce

Directions:

1. Cut ends of squash off and slice down the middle. Using the narrowest setting on your mandolin, slice the squash into long, flat strips.  (I just ended up using an old-fashioned knife to try to slice the zucchini as thinly as possible, very frustrating!!!)
2. In a large pan, heat oil over medium heat. Add onion, salt, pepper, & garlic and saute for about 5 minutes, until nearly translucent.
3. Add ground beef to onion mix and saute until meat is cooked all the way through.
4. Squeeze all the excess water out of the spinach, then add to meat/onion mixture.  (I didn’t put it all in the food processor to puree like in the original recipe, I wanted a little more texture to my “filling”).
5. Assemble the ravioli by just barely overlapping two strips of squash (see picture on website above). Do the same over the middle of the first two strips, but perpendicular, creating a cross or “t” shape.
6. Spoon filling in the center of the cross, then bring the ends of the strips together, overlapping each other (since my zucchini slices were so thick, I just folded them over the best I could!!), then secure zucchini with a toothpick (or 2 or 3!)
7. I put mine in the oven at 350 degrees instead of steaming them.  It just needs enough time for the zucchini to soften since everything else is already warm.  Cook until the zucchini is at your desired level of “crunchiness.”
8. Top with spaghetti sauce or your sauce of choice.
 No, it’s not that frozen ravioli that we used to love, but one can always use their imagination and just enjoy the flavor of something new and different!  🙂
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