Tag Archives: Ricotta

Fresh Zucchini and Tomato Sauce Ricotta

Fresh Zucchini & Tomato Sauce with Ricotta

Fall is around the corner. Summer is over pretty much for most of the country. But when you live in Florida, it’s still hot as ever with no real end in sight! September is just as hot as June, and just as humid! As much as I wish it was fall weather, it for sure, is not. So I’m not really ready to turn to hot stews and tall boots and jeans and the like. I might keel over with heat stroke! At Target, I don’t know who is ordering those giant, piping-hot pumpkin spice lattes! Its not me, for sure!

So the other night, I was wanting something fresh, light and easy (since it was just myself and the kids). Plus I wanted to use those few extra tomatoes left over from my neighbor. (So sweet of her!)

I got the idea of the fresh zucchini & tomato sauce with ricotta recipe from a skillet lasagna recipe where the sauce is made in the pan similar to this. I loved the fresh taste of the tomato and the creamy ricotta on top. The sauce has a little more texture than a typical jarred sauce but its delicious and super easy! We had some extra cooked chicken so I chopped that up, threw it in the bowl and dinner was ready!

Fresh Zucchini & Tomato Sauce with Ricotta

Ingredients:

  • 2 T olive oil
  • 1/2 medium onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 6-7 medium Roma tomatoes, diced
  • 1 Large or 2 medium zucchini, diced small
  • 2 T each basil, parsley, chopped (plus 1 T more for finishing)
  • Salt & pepper
  • 1 cup ricotta cheese
  • 1/2 cup shredded mozzarella
  • 2 T grated parmesan cheese
  • Chopped basil and/or parsley to finish

Directions:

Warm the oil in a medium pan on medium high heat. Add the onion and saute for 2-3 minutes until slightly softened. Add the garlic and cook until golden, 1 minute. Add the tomatoes, zucchini and herbs (not including the reserved ones for afterwards). Add salt and pepper to taste. Lower the heat to medium and cook until starting to break down, 6-7 minutes. Remove half of the sauce to a separate bowl. Using an immersion blender or just a masher, puree/mash the mixture a few times so it starts to become smooth. Add it back to the pan and stir in 1 T the parmesan.

Now, technically the sauce could be done but the ricotta topping just make its so much scrumptious! Mix together the ricotta, mozzarella and the remaining 1 T of parmesan and a dash of salt and pepper. I put a big spoonful of the ricotta on top of this (or any tomato sauce!). Scatter the chopped basil and parsley to finish!

Fresh Zucchini & Tomato Sauce with Ricotta
Fresh Zucchini & Tomato Sauce with Ricotta

My little people finished their plates as well!

Fresh Zucchini and Tomato Sauce and Ricotta
Author: 
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 6 servings
 
This vegetarian, garden fresh sauce pairs with any pasta for a quick easy meal.
Ingredients
  • 2 T olive oil
  • ½ medium onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 6-7 medium Roma tomatoes, diced
  • 1 Large or 2 medium zucchini, diced small
  • 2 T each basil, parsley, chopped (plus 1 T more for finishing)
  • Salt & pepper
  • 1 cup ricotta cheese
  • ½ cup shredded mozzarella
  • 2 T grated parmesan cheese
Instructions
  1. Warm the oil in a medium pan on medium high heat.
  2. Add the onion and saute for 2-3 minutes until slightly softened. Add the garlic and cook until golden, 1 minute.
  3. Add the tomatoes, zucchini and herbs (not including the reserved ones for afterwards). Add salt and pepper to taste.
  4. Lower the heat to medium and cook until starting to break down, 6-7 minutes. Remove half of the sauce to a separate bowl.
  5. Using an immersion blender or just a masher, puree/mash the mixture a few times so it starts to become smooth. Add it back to the pan and stir in 1 T the parmesan. Spoon over cooked pasta.
  6. While cooking the sauce, mix together the ricotta, mozzarella and the remaining 1 T of parmesan and a dash of salt and pepper.
  7. Spoon the ricotta on top of this (or any tomato sauce!). Scatter the chopped basil and parsley to finish!

 

Please let me know what you thought of the Fresh Zucchini & Tomato Sauce with Ricotta! I would love to hear from you!

Pasta Ricotta Bake

What’s your go-to meal when you aren’t sure what to have for dinner? This is mine!
We have this every other week or so and it always comes out awesome! It requires just a few pantry staples and can be tailored to any other items you might need to use or have in your refrigerator.

This is actually a back-logged recipe I’ve been meaning to post since December! I made it when my husband’s parents were coming into town for Christmas. Due to bad weather on the way, they made the drive here a day early. I chose to make this for dinner the night they arrived. I know its always nice to have a home cooked meal after a long 12 hour day in the car of fast food and on-the-go snacks! I appreciate when we make the drive there for sure! So I was just trying to repay the hospitality!

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Grammy and Grandpa are the best! And such silly munchkins!

Anyways, back to the nitty-gritty! Here is my recipe.

Pasta Ricotta Bake

Ingredients:

Pasta
Ricotta
Cheese
Sauce

Just Kidding- but that could be the list for this meal and it would be pretty good! You can make this more complex (making your own sauce) or easier (less veggies) or vegetarian (no meat!) Its also one of those things that is easy to make early then chill in the fridge until you’re ready heat in the oven! Here’s mine for real:

  • 1 lb pasta (any kind works but I used whole wheat penne)
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 TBL olive oil
  • 2 lb ground beef
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 yellow pepper, chopped (can use any color really)
  • 4 oz mushrooms, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced or put through garlic press
  • 1/2 package (about 4 oz) baby spinach, chopped
  • 1 jar pasta sauce
  • 16 oz container ricotta cheese
  • 2 cups parmesan cheese, divided (could substitute mozzarella too)
  • 2 eggs

There are 3 parts to this: Meat, Pasta & Ricotta Mixture. I think its easiest to start heating the salted water for pasta then make meat and sauce. While that’s cooking, stir together the ricotta.

Directions:

Cook pasta in salted water, cooking 1-2 minutes less than box recommends. Drain as usual.
Pasta Ricotta Bake

Warm up the oil in a large dutch oven and dump in the ground beef. After it has started to brown (3-4 minutes), add the onion, mushrooms bell pepper, garlic. Cook for 8-10 minutes on medium low until onion has turned translucent and bell pepper has softened. Season with salt and pepper. Add the pasta sauce and spinach and turn on low and continue cooking for a few more minutes and all is warmed through. Add pasta and stir into sauce.

Pasta Ricotta Bake

While meat in cooking, use a large bowl to stir ricotta together. Start with ricotta and add in the eggs and lightly beat together. Season with salt and pepper and add 1/2 cup of the parmesan.

Pasta Ricotta Bake

Prepare a casserole dish (at least 9×13) by spraying with non stick cooking spray. Spread 1/2 of the meat and 1/2 of the pasta in the bottom and press firmly for an even layer. Mound in the ricotta mixture over the pasta and spread out evenly.

Pasta Ricotta BakePasta Ricotta Bake

Add on the remainder of the meat and pasta and press into the dish. Hopefully your dish is large enough to accommodate it all!

Pasta Ricotta BakePasta Ricotta Bake

Sprinkle with the remaining 1 1/2 cup of parmesan and cover with foil. I’ve found it helps to spray the underside of the foil and it keeps the cheese for sticking.

Pasta Ricotta Bake

Place immediately in 350 degree oven for 40 minutes or if from refrigerator, for 1 hour 20 minutes.

Pasta Ricotta Bake
Author: 
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 10 servings
 
The easiest dish to put together, ever! And everyone always gobbles it up!
Ingredients
  • 1 lb pasta (any kind works but I used whole wheat penne)
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 TBL olive oil
  • 2 lb ground beef
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 yellow pepper, chopped (can use any color really)
  • 4 oz mushrooms, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced or put through garlic press
  • ½ package (about 4 oz) baby spinach, chopped
  • 1 jar pasta sauce
  • 16 oz container ricotta cheese
  • 2 cups parmesan cheese, divided (could substitute mozzarella too)
  • 2 eggs
Instructions
  1. Cook pasta in salted water, cooking 1-2 minutes less than box recommends. Drain as usual.
  2. Warm up the oil in a large dutch oven and dump in the ground beef. After it has started to brown (3-4 minutes), add the onion, mushrooms bell pepper, garlic.
  3. Cook for 8-10 minutes on medium low until onion has turned translucent and bell pepper has softened. Season with salt and pepper.
  4. Add the pasta sauce and spinach and turn on low and continue cooking for a few more minutes and all is warmed through. Add pasta and stir into sauce.
  5. While meat in cooking, use a large bowl to stir ricotta together. Start with ricotta and add in the eggs and lightly beat together. Season with salt and pepper and add ½ cup of the parmesan.
  6. Prepare a casserole dish (at least 9x13) by spraying with non stick cooking spray. Spread ½ of the meat and ½ of the pasta in the bottom and press firmly for an even layer. Mound in the ricotta mixture over the pasta and spread out evenly.
  7. Add on the remainder of the meat and pasta and press into the dish.
  8. Sprinkle with the remaining 1½ cup of parmesan and cover with foil that has been sprayed on the under side.
  9. Place immediately in 350 degree oven for 40 minutes or if from refrigerator, for 1 hour 20 minutes.
  10. Let sit 5-10 minutes before devouring.

 

Hope you enjoy as much as we do! I’d love to hear what you think of the Pasta Ricotta Bake! Please feel free to leave a comment!