A little under a year ago, I was diagnosed with coeliac disease. This devastating announcement seemed like the end of the world to me – a die-hard fan of pizza, pasta, pastry, cake, biscuits, scones…you get the idea.
Over the last 11 months, I have experienced many stages of grief. First came denial – I was pretty sure my doctor was part of a conspiracy to make the entire world gluten free. Next up was anger – how dare I be deprived of the gluten-rich delights that make me who I am?
Bargaining soon followed – a small amount of gluten every day won’t hurt, right? Depression, when I realised a little gluten every day would indeed hurt; and finally, acceptance – I’m yet to come through the other side of that one, but stay tuned.
As you might have gathered from my completely normal reaction – I love food. Like I really love it; eating is one of my favourite activities and my life is legitimately organised around mealtimes.
Thankfully (for my sanity), I recently realised that not eating gluten doesn’t mean I have to miss out on all of life’s greatest dining experiences. Rather, it’s an opportunity to branch out and discover new things.
I recently went to a friend’s place for dinner where she had cooked up a batch of zucchini ravioli. “It’s gluten free,” she told me, equal parts surprised and delighted. Instead of being wrapped in pasta, these delicious morsels of spinach and ricotta were wrapped in zucchini. “This is innovation,” I thought!
Naturally, I went home and started experimenting with my own take on the recipe. The result is a mighty delicious (and nutritious) gluten free creation. Plus it’s pretty bloody Instagrammable – that’s all the food groups covered right?
Three Cheese Zucchini Ravioli
- 3 x zucchinis (try to avoid wonky ones if possible)
- 1 x 375g tub of ricotta
- 75g spinach, washed
- 1 teaspoon garlic, crushed
- ¼ cup parmesan, grated
- Fresh basil, to taste
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- Pasta sauce of your choice
- Pecorino, to serve (or tasty cheese / parmesan if you’re on a budget)
- Basil, to serve
Chop ends off zucchini. Using a vegetable peeler, peel zucchini into ribbons. Discard ones that are too thin.
In a bowl, add ricotta, spinach, garlic, parmesan, basil, salt and pepper. Mix until combined.
Take two strips of zucchini and place one on top of the other to form a cross. Add a teaspoon of ricotta mix in the cross section.
Take one side of the bottom strip and fold over the centre. Take one side of the top piece and fold over the centre as well, tucking in if possible. Repeat with other side of bottom and top pieces to form a little parcel. Flip over so ravioli doesn’t fall apart.
Repeat until all zucchini and ricotta mix has been used. Assemble ravioli pieces on a baking tray, leaving about 1cm between each once. Bake at 190°C for 20 minutes or until the ravioli start to brown. Remove from oven.
Warm pasta sauce in a saucepan and place a few generous spoonfuls in a bowl. Top with 5-6 ravioli. Serve with freshly grated pecorino and basil.
Words by Ashleigh Whitehill
IG – @ash_whitehill
Art by Makayla Rimington
IG – @makaylarimington