A homemade Marinara Sauce served in a lightly roasted Round Zucchini topped with a smooth Bechamel and served on olive oil spaghetti to have a different twist to your next pasta dish.
When the season comes again for those lovely little round zucchini/courgette, I’m the first one in line to buy them! They are fantastic; you just fill them up with any kind of fillings and set them on top of rice, quinoa or in this case pasta, so adaptable! For this Marinara Stuffed Round Zucchini, I thought it would make a nice little bomb of flavour to have the Marinara sauce hidden in the roasted zucchini. It’s a kinda ‘Ratatouille‘ type of sauce in the end. The format is different, but the idea is the same, and the only difference is… I’ve added a thick béchamel on top to make it extra smooth.
Homemade Marinara Sauce
For this recipe, I’ve done an Express Homemade Tomato Sauce, plain and simple, with onion, garlic and tomatoes. Of course, if you are a busy bee, you can cut this extra time and use a premade Marinara/Tomato sauce of your choice or even a Bolognese sauce or why not an excellent seafood chowder… (click here to check out my Creamy Chicken Stuffed Round Courgette).
This a great recipe for Meatless Mondays or anyone who seeks a fulfilling way to eat vegetarian. Nothing is more satisfying than cutting with a sharp knife through this zucchini. Plus, the green roasted veggie will stay ‘al dente‘ and keep it’s nice crunch. A new fun way to eat pasta!
As mentioned above, you could substitute the sauce for Bolognese, Carbonara, or Pomodoro as you wish! And the Bechamel could be replaced by a nice thick slice of fresh Mozzarella. Simply grilled in the end to give it this nice golden touch.
Here is how to make those flavourful and fun little bombs or flavours.
Marinara Stuffed Round Zucchini
- 4 round zucchini
- 250 g pasta (or your choice)
- 2 tbsp olive oil extra-virgin
- salt and pepper
- 13 peeled tomatoes
- 3 onions (finely chopped)
- 3 garlic clove (finely chopped)
- 1 laurel leaf
- salt and pepper
- 250 ml cold milk
- 1 tbsp butter
- 1 tbsp flour
- 2 tbsp parmesan (or aged cheddar)
- 1/4 tsp nutmeg (optional)
- salt and pepper
Step one | The Marinara sauce
- Cut onions into small cubes and soften in olive oil at low temperature until translucent, not brown (10-15 min).
- Peel the tomatoes and cut them into dice.
- Add garlic to onions a few minutes before the tomatoes.
- Add tomatoes and spices and simmer until the sauce thickens; cook for about 30 minutes.
Step two | Preparation of the zucchinis
- Wash and cut off the top, then scoop out the inside.
- Spray or brush olive oil in and around them, then sprinkle with salt and pepper.
- Add the tomato sauce into the Zucchini.
- Cook in the oven at 180°C (350F), with the cut-off tops, upside down, for 25 minutes. (*During that time make the béchamel and cook the pasta.)
Step three | The béchamel (*optional, could be replaced by fresh mozzarella)
- In a small saucepan, melt the butter.
- Add the flour and cook at medium-high heat until it smells nutty, (approx. 1 minute).
- Add the cold milk, nutmeg, salt and white pepper and bring to a slow boil. Keep mixing until it gets nice, thick consistency.
- Add cheese, and mix well.
Step four | The grand finale
- Take the zucchinis out of the oven, then add the béchamel on top
- Broil them in the oven, and keep checking on them until light brown top (Top heat grill: approx. 3 minutes).
- Add the stuffed zucchini to the cooked pasta drizzled with olive oil, salt and pepper.
This recipe looks incredible!