These chilli and ricotta courgettes are my favourite lunch box pack up. They are delicious served straight from the oven, but are also really yummy if they have been chilled in the fridge (will last for 48 hours). The tomato puree and chilli gives the courgettes are real punchy flavour and the creamy cheese texture brings a fabulous addition to this recipe.
If you don’t like strong flavours you can take out the chilli. If you like a real taste sensation then you could replace the cheese for grated sheep’s manchengo or grated hard goat’s cheese.
These can be made into a meaty version by adding small strips of chicken that has already been fried in a little coconut oil. Take care not to over fill the courgettes or they will become messy in the oven when they are cooking and won’t be so easy to manage as a finger food.
Courgettes have virtually no calories and contain no saturated fats Courgettes offer protection against colon cancer from their outer skin which is a great source of dietary fibre.
To make these you will need;
- 3 courgettes
- 3 tablespoons tomato puree
- 2 tablespoons finely grated manchego cheese
- 4 tablespoons ricotta cheese
- ¼ teaspoon chilli powder or ½ fresh red chilli finely chopped
- 3 sprigs of fresh basil, parsley and mint all finely chopped
- 2 large tomatoes chopped into tiny chunks
- ¼ teaspoon Pink salt
- Halve the courgettes and scoop out the flesh inside. Cut into pieces of about 8cm long and then blanch the pieces in boiling water for about 2 minutes.
- Drain the water and allow the courgettes to cool slightly. Use a knife to spread the tomato puree on the inside of the courgettes.
- Mix together all of the other ingredients (expect the manchego cheese) and then fill the courgettes with the mixture. Sprinkle the grated cheese over the top and then place on a tray and bake for 15-20 minutes. (Pre heat the oven to 180 degrees centigrade)
Tip – I found that blanching the courgettes for a couple of minutes in boiling water helped the cooking time in the oven, so that the cheesy topping didn’t burn before the base was cooked. If you are going to have these cold, it is best to let them cool on a wire rack before transferring to a covered glass container, so that they don’t go soft.
These Chilli and Ricotta Courgettes go fantastically well with our Veggie Mushroom bites that we shared the recipe for last week.