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Courgette Rolls with Spinach and Ricotta

While we don’t wish to be guilty of offering a glut of zucchini recipes, it is, after all, the season of zucchini glut, as any gardener with more than one zucchini plant will aver. So, the next time you come across large (about 2 inch diameter) zucchini, whether at the market or overlooked amongst the leaves in the garden, snap them up and make this delicious dish for a change of pace from this or this. Served as a side or as a complete vegetarian meal, these colorful rolls of tender zucchini slices filled with a mixture of wilted, fresh spinach and creamy ricotta with a hint of nutmeg will surely be a welcome addition to any table.

Should you fancy eggplant (or aubergine, as the Brits call it), you can use that instead and the result is equally good. We recommend using a large Japanese eggplant, as the skin is thinner and does not need to be removed before cooking.

Courgette Rolls with Spinach and Ricotta

2 zucchini, cut into ¼-inch thick slices lengthwise
2 tbs. olive oil
1 lb. fresh spinach
1 cup ricotta cheese
grating of fresh nutmeg
1½ cups marinara sauce
4 tbs. fresh breadcrumbs
4 tbs. grated Parmesan cheese

Heat the oven to 425°F. Brush the zucchini with olive oil on both sides, then lay on a baking sheet. Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until tender, turning once. Let cool a bit.

Meanwhile, put the spinach in a large colander and pour over a kettle of boiling water to wilt. Cool, then squeeze out the excess water, so that it is dry. Mix with the ricotta, nutmeg and plenty of seasoning.

Dollop a spoonful of the cheesy ricotta mixture in the center of each zucchini slice, fold over to make a parcel and lay, seam-side down, in an ovenproof dish. Pour over the marinara sauce, sprinkle with breadcrumbs and cheese. Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until golden and piping hot.

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