summer squash

What You'll Need:

  • 3 or 4 large summer squash or zucchini, sliced lengthwise, about 1/8 inch thick
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 cup ricotta cheese
  • 3 ounces fresh mozzarella, chopped or grated
  • 1 ounce parmesan, grated fine (or about ¼ cup grated or shredded parmesan or other hard cheese)
  • 1 large egg
  • Zest of one lemon
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh herbs like basil, parsley, oregano, rosemary, and/or thyme or 2 tablespoons pesto
  • 1 ½ cups tomato sauce or marinara
  • Pesto, with extra olive oil added to make a sauce consistency
  • Salt and pepper

Optional additions to ricotta mixture:

  • 1 large roasted red pepper, diced
  • ½ cup chopped sundried tomatoes
  • ¾ pound Italian sausage, cooked and crumbled
  • 10 squash blossoms, stemmed and sliced
  • 1 cup greens, cooked, drained, and chopped


Preheat oven to 375° Fahrenheit. Line a baking sheet with parchment or a silicone liner. Brush with olive oil. Lay pieces of squash in a single layer, not touching, until the sheet is full. Brush with more olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Repeat until all pieces of squash are in pans, alternating the squash ends to get more on each pan. Roast for 5-7 minutes or until pliable, but not taking on any color. Remove from the oven and allow to cool. Leave oven on.

While squash is roasting make ricotta mix. Add ricotta to a medium bowl. Toss in cheeses, herbs and, lemon zest. Season with salt and pepper. If you are adding other optional ingredients, do so now before adding the egg and taste for seasoning. Reseason if necessary and add egg and stir well.

Take 2 small spoons and using them, add about a tablespoon of the filling on the larger end of each squash slice and roll the squash around the filling and to the end of the squash. Set aside with the seam of the small end on the bottom of each roll.

In a shallow baking pan or tart pan, coat the bottom of the pan with the tomato sauce or marinara to about ½ an inch up the pan. Place all your rolls on their sides in the pan, so that the other side is on top. The finished rolls look somewhat like little rosebuds in the pan.