Zucchini “cannelloni” with kohlrabi filling and red pepper sauce

I made this raw vegan dish after hosting a dinner, having some leftover lemon basil pesto and myself feeling really “heavy” with all the cooking and also eating and drinking…. So the next day I really wanted to have a very light dinner and also making good use of my leftover. Raw vegan pasta reminiscent dishes use a certain vegetable that can be cut into the shape of the original pasta. In this case green summer squash, aka zucchini replaced canneloni. Or lay it down and call it ravioli. The filling was finely chopped kochlrabi marinated in the lemon basil pesto. Then rolled up and sat on a bed of pepper sauce.

This recipe yields for 2, it is your date night dinner 🙂

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Ingredients (yields 2 portions)

  • 2 smaller green and/or yellow summer squash (zucchini) (sliced on mandolin into 1-2mm thickness)
  • 1 medium size or 2 small kohlrabi (chopped into smal cubes)
  • salt, pepper, olive oil
  • to garnish and serve: finely chopped pine nuts or pumpkin seeds, micro greens, edible flowers, garlic blossoms

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For the lemon basil pesto

  • 1/2 cup chopped basil
  • 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 garlic clove minced
  • zest of 1 lemon
  • juice of 1 lemoon
  • 1 red thai chili minced well (or chili flakes)
  • 1-2 tsp nutritional yeast

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For the red pepper sauce

  • 1 red california pepper
  • 1 tomato
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 shallot
  • 1/3 cup of soaked cashew
  • olive oil, salt, black pepper

Instructions

  1. Start making the lemon basil pesto. Add all ingredients in a bowl and mix them well.
  2. Chop the kohlrabi, season with salt and pepper and mix into the pesto. This will be the filling in the canneloni.
  3. Blend all the ingredients of the pepper sauce in Vitamix or other high power blender.
  4. Slice zucchini on mandolin about 2 mm thickness. Season lightly with salt, black pepper and olive oil. Set them on a sheet for a few minutes to marinate. This will also help the zucchini soften up a bit, make it easier to digest.
  5. For plating spoon some pepper sauce in the bottom of a shallow bowl. Roll up zucchini, place on top of the sauce and fill with the kohrabi lemon basil pesto. If you can only lay them, like an original canelloni dish, that is fine too. Sprinkle with chopped or ground pine nut/ pumpkin seeds. I really liked it with the pumpkin seeds.
  6. Decorate your plate with micro greens, herbs and edible blossoms.

ENJOY!

 

Zucchini pasta

Summer squash….. There is no way you can put them in any other season. The name says it all.  They are great raw, cooked, roasted, grilled, you name it.

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The other day I made a very light and pretty salad using summer squash. To make it look really good I shaved them into very thin ribbons. It was such a pretty sight.

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BUT. There was soooo much leftover of the zucchini on my kitchen counter that I had to come up with something.

And then I remembered a pasta from Italy using fried zucchini. So I decided to try and make something similar, but a bit more on the healthy side.

So what I did, I used all the leftover zucchini, chopped them and made a sauce out of them. And because I had some more small zucchinis, I cut them in half and sliced them. Pan fried those in a little bit of garlic scented olive oil, and served it with fresh basil and toasted pine nuts.

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It is a fresh, easy, quick flavorful pasta dish, and celebrating summer squash. In case you don’t need to use up your leftover zucchini bits, just follow my instructions below.

Ingredients  (yields 4)

  • 1/2 pack (8 oz)  store bought vegan pasta, preferably spaghetti
  • 8 smaller zucchini (mix green and yellow if you can)
  • 2 whole garlic cloves
  • 2 minced garlic cloves
  • Olive oil
  • 1/2 lemon, you will need the juice
  • 2-3 tbsp of grated hard goat cheese or pecorino or parmesan
  • handful of basil leaves
  • 1 tbsp of toasted pine nuts
  • salt, black pepper and hot paprika (not smoked!) to taste

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 Instructions

  1. Lengthwise cut your zucchinis in half. Then slice them into 1/4 inch slices.
  2. Heat 2tbsp olive oil and add 2 garlic cloves.
  3. Toast the garlic only a few minutes carefully, not to burn and remove from pan.
  4. Fry the zucchini slices in the garlic oil, for only a few minutes so that they have color but will not fall apart. Fry them in batches if needed, so they all get some color instead of steaming them…
  5. Save and keep warm 1/2 of the zucchini for plating and put the rest back in the pan.
  6. Add the minced garlic cloves, stirring constantly, so it will not burn, squeeze over the lemon juice, add salt, black pepper, hot paprika and some water, just to keep it moistened. Cover and cook on low heat for about 10 minutes, when the zucchini slices start to fall apart.
  7. At the moment when you cover the zucchini, start cooking your pasta in salted water and add 1 tbsp olive oil too. If you start cooking the pasta at that point, it will be ready when your sauce is ready, and you can use the pasta cooking water to finish your sauce.
  8. When the zucchini is soft enough, smash them a little bit with a fork or masher. Add some pasta cooking liquid and mix in the cheese. This all will create a sauce. You will not need to use anything else. You can adjust anytime with some extra cooking water and/or grated cheese.
  9. Serve the pasta with the sauce, the fried zucchini slices and
  10. Finish off with tiny basil leaves or sliced ones, freshly grated black pepper (lots), cheese and pine nuts.
  11. Make sure you have a glass of chilled white wine with it too!

ENJOY!