Ok. I admit it: I am a kitchen gadget junkie.
There are 2 stores that cater to my particular addiction: Amazon and Best Buy.
Best Buy has a “deal of the day” email where you can get 50% or more off of items they sell, and many times those are kitchen small appliances.
My new toy: a Kitchen Aid stand mixer.
Now, before I complain about the cost, I will say that I have purchased many stand mixers over the last 7-10 years, ranging from $35 to $70 and, without fail, each HAS failed, usually due to internal plastic parts. So if I look at it logically, I’d have spent less in total if I’d just bought the Kitchen Aid first(and yes, this reasoning works on my husband lol).
Another benefit: He can get me attachments for Christmas! See: win-win!
Now the reason I’m writing this blurb isn’t about the mixer itself, but a specific attachment: the Vegetable Sheet Cutter . Revolutionary if you’re wanting to add more veggies to your meals in a sneaky fashion.
I’ve only used it to sheet cucumbers (and rolled tuna salad in them as a wrap -worked fantastic!); and zucchini, of course. The recipe below is a pasta fake-out using zucchini sheets instead of pasta.
Never fear, if you don’t have the sheet cutter, just use a vegetable peeler and make as wide of slices as you can, then make a lattice pattern to form sheets.
Rolled Ricotta Florentine Manicotti-ish (makes 4 servings)
- 8 oz part skim ricotta cheese
- 4 oz cream cheese – softened
- 2 oz finely grated Parmesan cheese (the green can is fine)
- 10 oz frozen spinach, thawed and drained until it’s very dry then finely chopped
- 2 large eggs, beaten
- salt and pepper to taste
- 2T (about 4 leaves) chopped fresh basil -optional
- 2 zucchini sheeted or 4 zucchini using a vegetable peeler as described above
- 1 cup of your favorite pasta sauce
Make the zucchini “pasta” first and places on paper towels to drain just a bit.
You want enough to make 8 rolls about 5-6″ long each.
In a mixer or by hand: mix the cheeses, eggs, basil if using, and salt and pepper well. Mix in the spinach until it’s well distributed. *While this recipe does not call for bread crumbs, you may need a little more Parmesan if it’s too wet.
Preheat oven to 350f. Spread 1/4 cup of the pasta sauce in the bottom of a 9×13 baking pan and spread it around in a thin layer, it will barely coat the bottom but that’s all you want.
I find it easiest to divide the filling into 8 servings to start with, then fill and roll each sheet and place, seam side down, in the pan. Repeat until you’ve made 8 rolls.
Pour the remaining sauce evenly over the top and bake, uncovered, for 30 minutes. Let cool slightly (5-10 minutes) for the filling to firm up before serving.
*If you make your own sauce, or a meat sauce, make sure it’s very thick because the zucchini will give off some moisture when it bakes.
**If you like, sprinkle some shredded mozzarella on top 5 minutes before removing from the oven.