Aphro Cuisine Recipe: Zesty Zucchini Ravioli
APHRO CUISINE—AUGUST 2015
How to make dinner without bread, pasta, grains or starches? It’s a question I ask myself all too often, because there is something about the bite that comes along with those satisfying wheat-based goods that just makes you feel downright sated. Although for the health-conscious yet foodily inclined folk, we know having a light dinner makes for healthy humans. So, when I fortuitously stumble across an idea to give that same satisfaction in a meal of almost exclusively veggies (aaaaand about 40% ricotta cheese), I’m a happy camper. Given that you can get your hands on a mandolin, the zucchini makes an easy wrapping and replacement for the pasta part of your ravioli. Of course these succulent pockets can be filled with anything – ground and spiced lamb, a tofu substitute for ricotta, butternut & goat cheese, let your ravioli filling fantasies frolic free!
You will need (for two):
A mandolin slicer
3 medium zucchinis—try to get straight and slender ones
1½ cups ricotta cheese
1½ tbsp finely chopped marjoram (the magic herb for this recipe!)
1½ tbsp finely chopped mint
1 tbsp lemon zest
pinch of salt and pepper
olive oil for frying (or baking)
For the sauce and deco:
1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
1 tbsp tomato paste or ½ cup canned tomato
3 cloves garlic—sliced into thin discs
¼ cup water
splash of white wine
¼ cup chopped basil
salt and pepper
1 tsp chilli flakes
olive oil for frying
3 tbsp capers
Parmesan cheese or similar
Begin by preparing your cherry tomato sauce. Soften your garlic in a saucepan over a low flame in plenty of olive oil. Add white wine, then tomatoes, then tomato paste and water. Season and add chili flakes, all the while stirring occasionally. The sauce should only take 15-20 minutes to reach a nice consistency. Once removed from heat, stir through the fresh basil.
Meanwhile, prepare the zucchini strips by chopping top and tail, and then slicing lengthways on the mandolin (you may need to discard the first couple as they won’t be wide for the ravioli). In terms of getting the perfect thickness, you want it to be pretty much as thin as it can get without being translucent at all—the pictures above should give you a gauge. Mix the ricotta, zest, herbs, salt and pepper in a bowl. Lay down two zucchini strips perpendicular and slightly overlapping, then another two the same horizontally on top of the first two. Dollop some of the ricotta mixture into the center, and then fold all four sides over. Flip the ravioli so the folded sides are underneath, sprinkle with a little salt and pepper and put aside. You can choose to fry the ravioli on medium in olive oil, although they can be delicate to maneuver, so if you prefer (or if you are doing large batches) you can lightly cover in oil and bake on a baking tray at 180/350 for about 10 minutes.
Fry off your capers for about 2-3 minutes on a medium-high heat until they are a little crunchy and puff up slightly. Top your ravioli with sauce (or underneath as shown), capers and Parmesan and indulge!
Recipe and photography by Megan McCulloch
APHRO CUISINE Eating is a ritual. It enriches our daily lives, enlivens our body and mind, and when we savour and indulge, evokes our sensuality. Aphro Cuisine is not only a seductive culinary and sensory project, but a way of life. A way to benefit and enjoy more deeply the vital potent energy that food brings us every day, and I’m here to share this food philosophy with you!