I first saw this recipe being prepared on a DVD that came with one of the magazines I subscribe. It was a teaser to the readers as it contained recipes of the then upcoming Gordon Ramsey’s book Sunday Lunch. He is so full of passion for food and very fresh ingredients that first and foremost I always feel like preparing anything he comes up with. In addition to that I found this recipe to be dead easy, with a lovely base – the courgette, and then the creaminess of the ricotta, the crunchiness of the pine nuts. I played the DVD again for a couple of times and then decided that I had found my dinner dish. This recipe is indeed very simple. As much as I am a big fan of Ramsey I do know my limitations. The balance and freshness of the ingredients is the key to success. You can prepare it as a starter or to nibble whilst drinking a glass of wine with friends. Create an occasion to prepare it if you must. Just don’t miss this opportunity.
I just would like to say that the number of courgettes that you might need will depend on the size of the ones you have. I would even dare suggest that you prepare ¾ first, and then depending on how much filling you have left slice some more. As you prepare these in advance there is no problem if you need to split it into stages.
4 small courgettes, trimmed
Olive oil, to oil and drizzle
Juice of ½ lemon
Splash of extra virgin olive oil
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
Handful of basil leaves, chopped
50g pine nuts, toasted
Balsamic vinegar, to drizzle
Slice the courgettes lengthways, using a swivel vegetable peeler or a mandolin and select about 40 good strips. Place the courgette strips on an oiled tray and brush with olive oil. Season with salt and pepper and chill for 20 minutes.Mix the ricotta with the lemon juice, extra virgin olive oil and seasoning to taste, then fold in the chopped basil and pine nuts. Place a small teaspoonful of ricotta mixture on one end of the courgette strip and roll up. Repeat to use up all the filling. Arrange the courgette cannelloni on a plate and grind over some black pepper. Drizzle with a little olive oil and balsamic vinegar and serve.