Pesto and Sausage Zucchini Involtini
|ground spicy Italian sausage. We used Beyond Meat Hot Italian Sausage||1/2 lb|
|large zucchini or yellow squash||2|
|red bell pepper, chopped||1|
|can of crushed San Marzano tomatoes, or substitute two cups of tomato sauce||1 14oz|
|dried thyme||2 tsps|
|dried oregano||2 tsps|
|crushed red pepper flakes, or more to taste||1/2 tsp|
|salt and pepper to taste|
|ricotta||1 1/2 cups|
|fontina, shredded||1 cup|
|basil pesto, or about ¾ cup||6 oz|
|optional garnish: fresh basil, fresh parsley|
This Pesto and Sausage Zucchini Involtini recipe is vegetarian, gluten-free, low-carb, and super tasty! The sauce is slightly spicy and herbaceous and the zucchini is stuffed with cheese and pesto. Cheese and pesto, what more do we need to say?
- We used Beyond Meat Hot Italian Sausage for this recipe, but you can substitute any spicy Italian sausage. If using Beyond Meat, thaw and slice in half lengthwise, then peel off the casing.
- We used a vegetable peeler to make the zucchini ribbons but recommend using a mandolin. We also used zucchini and yellow squash but you can use just one if you prefer. This dish is traditionally made with eggplant so feel free to swap zucchini for eggplant if you’d like!
- If you’re vegan, substitute vegan pesto, vegan ricotta, vegan mozzarella shreds, and vegan parmesan instead of fontina).
- Preheat the oven to 425.
- In a large pot, heat olive oil and add sausage. Cook sausage for about 5-7 minutes, until browned on all sides.
- Add bell pepper, tomatoes or tomato sauce, oregano, thyme, red pepper flakes, and salt and pepper. Reduce heat and simmer for about ten minutes. The sauce should begin to thicken.
- Using a mandolin or vegetable peeler, slice zucchini into thin ribbons and lay them flat on a clean dish towel or a paper towel.
- Combine ricotta, fontina cheese, and ½ cup of the pesto in a medium bowl.
- Lightly grease a 9×13 baking dish and pour in about ¾ of the sauce. Then assemble the zucchini by laying two ribbons side by side and spooning a rounded tablespoon of the cheese and pesto mixture onto the center. Roll zucchini up and place the seam side down into the baking dish.
- Then pour the remaining sauce over the zucchini rolls, and the rest of the pesto, tear up the mozzarella, and spread evenly on top.
- Bake for 15-20 minutes or until the mozzarella is melted and slightly browned. Allow to cool for 5 minutes. Garnish with fresh basil, and parsley (optional).
- Serve & enjoy!