“Be in love with your life. Every minute of it.” Jack Kerouac
This recipe is inspired from my Roman holiday, the land of endless carbs and delicate yet rich sauces. Withdrawal symptom from vacations are the hardest to deal with, and getting back to work is painful. But if you’re lucky to be in a creative study field like mine, the return to normalcy is not as bad, and you are rejuvenated!
These zucchini rolls bake is the ideal dinner to come back to when you’re starving but must diet to get rid of those pasta-loaded love handles!
It takes a bit of time and effort, but they taste incredible (the zucchini takes time to grill!). The tomato sauce is simple, like one for pasta and can be made beforehand. The stuffing is fragrant, light and oh so delicate, and can also be made beforehand and refrigerated. Please do use lemon zest liberally with the paneer and you can stuff the rolls with other ingredients as well such as boiled corn, sundried tomatoes, capers, or whatever takes your fancy. The choice is entirely yours.
Strict meat lovers as well as the skinny lot who can afford all the bread in the world will inhale this dish!
Serves Serves: 4 | Prep Time: 20 mins | Cook Time: 60 mins
- Zucchini Rolls:
- 2 zucchinis
- 1 cup grated paneer or cottage cheese
- 2 tbsp feta cheese
- ¼ cup olives, chopped
- ½ cup chopped coloured peppers
- ½ cup boiled corn (optional)
- 2 tsp fresh thyme
- 2 tsp fresh oregano
- 2 tsp lemon zest
- Salt + pepper
- Tomato Sauce:
- 1 ½ cup chopped tomatoes
- 2 cup crushed tomatoes
- 2 onions, finely chopped
- 3 tbsp garlic, chopped
- 3 tbsp dried basil
- 3 tbsp dried oregano
- 1 tbsp red chilli flakes
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- Pinch of sugar
- Salt + Pepper
- For the sauce:
- In a non-stick pan, heat the olive oil and fry the garlic and onions.
- Then add the herbs, chilli flakes, and chopped tomatoes and cook for 10 minutes.
- Add in the crushed tomato puree, sugar, salt and pepper.
- Let the sauce simmer for at least 30 minutes.
- For the rolls:
- Slice the zucchinis lengthwise into thin strips.
- Heat a non-stick pan on high heat.
- Brush the pan with olive oil.
- Place the zucchini strips onto the hot pan and cook on both sides.
- Remove from heat and let cool.
- In a separate bowl combine the paneer, feta cheese, olives, peppers, herbs, lemon zest, salt and pepper.
- Place a tablespoon of the mixture on one end of a zucchini strip and roll it up and fasten with a toothpick.
- Repeat this for all the strips.
- Pour the tomato sauce into the bake dish.
- Place the rolled zucchinis in the dish and sprinkle cheese on top.
- Drizzle some olive oil on top.
- Bake in an oven at 180°C for 20 minutes.
- Serve hot.