As a lot of people do this time of the year, I have an abundance of zucchini. After asking a co-worker that grows the stuff to bring me one (I said ONE!) to make my Mom’s recipe for Double Chocolate Zucchini cake, he instead brought me two HUGE zucchinis. No joke, these were about as big around as my arm. So, after two loaves of bread, one tin of mini-muffins, one cake, and this recipe, I still have the equivalent of 1-2 small zucchinis left. Ah! Oh, and don’t worry, I will post the Double Chocolate Zucchini cake recipe later. 🙂
I got the original recipe from Slow Cookers by Bay Books, Zucchini and Ricotta Cannelloni. Here’s my take on it:
Zucchini Stuffed Shells
2 zucchinis, grated
16 oz fresh ricotta cheese
2 tablespoons fresh basil chopped, divided
1 teaspoon lemon zest
2 tablespoons parmesan cheese
Salt and pepper, to taste
24 jumbo shells, uncooked
28 oz of your favorite pasta sauce (I used Hunts Garlic and Onion – SORRY, Italians!)
8 oz shredded mozzarella cheese
Combine the zucchini, ricotta, 1 tablespoon basil, lemon zest, and parmesan cheese. Mix thoroughly. I used less basil but feel free to use as much as you like – Chris isn’t a huge fan of the taste.
Pour a small amount of the pasta sauce on the bottom of the slow cooker. Fill half of the jumbo pasta shells with zucchini mixture and place in a single layer on the bottom of the slow cooker.
Once the first layer is complete, top with half of the pasta sauce, half of the mozzarella cheese, and half of the remaining basil. Repeat the same steps to create the second layer.
Turn the slow cooker on HIGH and cook for 2-3 hours or until pasta is al dente*. I served ours with a side salad and garlic bread.
*Note: My slow cooker took 2 hours, but keep an eye on yours. They all have a mind of their own!
Me: Loved it! I added lemon zest to give the filling a little something extra. I liked how it brightened the flavor and lemon always works well with basil, so I had to try it. The filling would work great in ravioli with a fresh-made tomato sauce or a simple lemon and butter sauce. Delish!
Chris: Liked it, but could live without the lemon and basil. Typical Chris… ❤ Love my hubby!
Try it for yourself and see what you think!