A light version of cannelloni with zucchini tubes in place of wheat pasta, stuffed with vegetables and olives in rich tomatoes. You could even take it up a notch and top it with a creamy cheesy layer. It's a nutritious and filling gluten-free alternative to pasta!
Zucchini Cannelloni [Vegan, Gluten-Free]
For the Cannelloni:
- 4 medium zucchinis, tops and bottoms cut off
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
For the Filling:
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 red onion, thinly sliced
- 2 leeks, sliced into rounds
- 3 bell peppers (1 red, 1 yellow, 1 green, or colors of your choice), chopped into 1cm pieces
- 4 cloves garlic, crushed
- 2 tins chopped tomatoes
- 1 tablespoon tomato purée
- 2 tablespoons (drained weight) lemon and garlic marinated Halkidiki olives or pitted green olives and 1 tablespoon lemon juice, halved lengthways
- 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
- Black pepper to taste
- To make the zucchini tubes, cut each zucchini into two and use a sharp slim knife to hollow out the inside of each tube, leaving a little bit of the flesh intact.
- Pre-heat the oven to 350°F.
- Place a large saucepan or frying pan onto the hob over a medium high heat. Once the pan has warmed, add the olive oil and heat for a minute. Add the onion, leeks and peppers. Cook for around four to five minutes, stirring occasionally, until softened.
- Add the garlic and stir well. Add the tomatoes and tomato purée, mix well and simmer for ten minutes, stirring occasionally.
- At this point add the zucchini tubes and 1 tablespoon olive oil to an oven-proof dish. Ensure the courgette tubes are coated in the oil and place in the oven.
- Add the marinated olives (or olives and lemon juice), thyme and black pepper according to your taste. Simmer for a further five minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Remove the dish with the zucchini tubes from the oven. Using either kitchen tongs or a fork to hold each of the tubes, stuff them with the filling. Spoon out any leftover filling in the dish to surround the courgette tubes.
- Return to the oven and bake for around twenty minutes or until the courgette tubes are tender.