My best friend has this favorite dish from a restaurant we frequent near her home... its an appetizer of rolled zucchini stuffed with a borsin cheese and smothered with marinara sauce and melted parmesan. I wanted to make an adaptation of that dish to enjoy at home... something where the cheese was more of the star. (aren't all vegetables better when smothered in cheese?) I had ricotta sitting in the fridge from some gnocchi I made last week, and thought that a spin off of lasagna and this stuffed zucchini appetizer would be a great side dish. —SimplySarah
ricotta, if using fresh drain overnight
assiago cheese, shredded
salt and pepper to taste
small zucchini, sliced into 1/4 inch pieces, lengthwise
Mix the ricotta cheese with the dried basil, oregano, garlic powder, onion powder and the assiago cheese. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Season zucchini with salt and pepper. Gently sear in a non stick pan for 2-3 minutes. If you have a grill pan, this would be good to use. You want to soften the zucchini slightly so you can fit it into you dish.
Spread a layer of marinara sauce in the bottom of a casserole dish. The recipe will fill a 4"x7" dish. Spread a layer of the lightly seared zucchini across the sauce. Spread 1/2 of the cheese mixture on top of the zucchini and top that with another layer of zucchini.
Spread 2-3 tablespoons of sauce across the zucchini layer, top with the remainder of the cheese and the last of the zucchini.
Top with a layer of marinara sauce. Cover with foil and place in the oven for 25 minutes.
Remove the foil and top with the parmesan cheese. Return to the oven until the cheese is melted and everything is bubbling.
Remove from oven and allow to cool for 10 minutes for ease in serving.