Italian Veggie Stuffed Zucchini Boats Starring Ragu Homestyle Thick & Hearty Pasta Sauce

Ah summer… the sun is shining, days seem longer and gardens are producing tons of fresh fruits and veggies.   There is nothing better than garden fresh veggies. Crisp peppers, corn on the cob, zucchini for days and vine ripened tomatoes.  However living in Pittsburgh we have all but a brief window of time where we can grow our own veggies like that.  Nothing is better than homemade pasta sauce with garden fresh garlic, herbs and those juicy tomatoes.  Well thankfully RAGÚ came out with their new Homestyle pasta sauces!  You can get garden fresh taste with that rich homestyle way just like Nonna!  So when the great folks from RAGÚ reached out to me to check out their new RAGÚ Homestyle pasta sauces I was ecstatic.  You see RAGÚ Homestyle pasta sauce is about tradition, family and amazing flavors.  So today I’m sharing with you my Italian Veggie Stuffed Zucchini Boats Starring Ragu Homestyle Thick & Hearty Pasta Sauce.  Get on the boat to YUMVILLE with this dish!

Italian Veggie Stuffed Zucchini Boats4

This time around I decided to go with their Homestyle Thick & Hearty Roasted Garlic pasta sauce. Since this dish was meatless I really wanted to give the veggie filling tons of flavors.  This sauce was the perfect way to go! Rich, thick, bold and the roasted garlic flavor was amazing!

Italian Veggie Stuffed Zucchini Boats Collage 1

This sauce is so thick it hugs your pasta!  And you know me I love a thick sauce!  Nothing is worse than getting a beautiful plate of pasta only to find a bunch of watery sauce on the bottom. Nope, you won’t get that with this RAGÚ Homestyle pasta sauces! This is their boldest flavor yet because they use REAL vegetables in it!  They peel, chop and simmer their ingredients and use a special blend of herbs (basil, fennel, oregano and black pepper) to layer and build the flavor.

Now they have 5 awesome flavors for you to choose from:

RAGÚ Homestyle Thick and Hearty Traditional Sauce
RAGÚ Homestyle Thick and Hearty Meat Sauce
RAGÚ Homestyle  Thick and Hearty Four Cheese Sauce
RAGÚ Homestyle  Thick and Hearty Roasted Garlic Sauce
RAGÚ Homestyle  Thick and Hearty Mushroom Sauce

You could easily use any of those flavors in this dish.  Since I wasn’t adding fresh garlic to the dish I went with this as I said.  So now to make these, honestly it’s pretty simple.  I chose to go with the smaller zucchini only because I didn’t feel like dealing with the seeds. However if you wanted to make this more of a buffet/family style then definitely go with the big ones, hull it out and then pitch the seeds.  Remember though you want to keep the flesh.  That’s good stuff right there as it’s part of the filling!

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Now since I’m keeping this more Italian themed I went some crimini mushrooms  (baby portabellas), zucchini (obviously) and carrots.  Now the carrots were for color and sweetness.  To it I also added both cooked quinoa and pastina.  You could go with either or but I like the mixture of the two. You’ll notice I went with dried oregano but fresh basil.  This is only because I had no fresh oregano on hand. When at all possible go with the fresh for dishes like this.

A couple of different cheeses were added and some of that sauce to mix it all up.  Now I added some breadcrumbs to give it a little more body.  I didn’t want it too loose.  You could leave it out if you wanted it to be more crumbly or go with gluten free bread crumbs.  But if you’re going gluten free you need to make sure your pasta is gf as well.

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As I said these RAGÚ Homestyle pasta sauces come in 5 awesome flavors – Traditional, Meat, Roasted Garlic, Four Cheese and Mushroom. The Homestyle sauces are made from a blend of 100% California-grown, vine-ripened tomatoes, onions and fragrant herbs such as basil, oregano, fennel and ground black pepper. Thanks to a bold combination of vine-ripened tomatoes, onions and fragrant herbs, you won’t need to doctor these delicious sauces – just heat and serve straight from the jar.

RAGÚ knows a great sauce starts with great ingredients. You’ll feel good about serving your friends and family the new RAGÚ Homestyle pasta saucesbecause they contain no artificial colors, no artificial flavors and no high-fructose corn syrup.

Italian Veggie Stuffed Zucchini Boats Collage

For me, these are perfect for a light dinner, meatless Monday or Friday’s during Lent.  It’s a great way to go through your garden and use up those veggies in a fun and delicious way.  However you don’t have to keep it meatless.  This flavor combination would be awesome with cooked and crumbled Italian sausage or even pepperoni! Mix it up and make this your own!  Just make sure you use your RAGÚ Homestyle pasta sauces in the dish!
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So now go to the store, pick up a few jars of RAGÚ Homestyle pasta sauces and grab either from your garden, the farmers market or grocery store some veggies and make this tonight!  This will most certainly be a family favorite!  I know it’s a favorite in my house!

Italian Veggie Stuffed Zucchini Boats13


Italian Veggie Stuffed Zucchini Boats Starring Ragu Homestyle Thick & Hearty Pasta Sauce


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  • 1 cup cooked quinoa
  • 1 cup cooked pastina
  • 1 cup chopped crimini portabellas
  • 1/2 cup matchstick carrots
  • 3 – 4 campari tomatoes, chopped
  • 4-6 6” zucchini
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 – 1 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 3/4 tsp black pepper
  • 1 Tbl butter, unsalted
  • 3-4 Tbl unseasoned bread crumbs
  • 1/2 cup shaved parmesan plus additional for garnish
  • 1/2 - 3/4 cup shredded mozzarella
  • 1/2 cup Ragu Homestyle Thick & Hearty Roasted Garlic pasta sauce, plus additional for drizzle, warmed
  • 5-6 large basil leaves, thinly sliced
  1. Preheat the oven to 400F, rack in the middle.
  2. Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil and set aside.
  3. Slice the zucchini in half the long way, and scoop out the flesh using a melon baller leaving about 1/2-inch thick skins. Reserve the flesh and set aside. *Note you may want to slice a very thin slice on the outside bottom of the zucchini so it can lie flat.
  4. Take the reserved flesh and rough chop.
  5. In a medium skillet over medium heat add in the butter. When the butter begins to foam add in the chopped mushrooms and reserved zucchini flesh.
  6. Gently stir around and after 1 minutes of cooking sprinkle on 1/2 tsp of salt and 1/2 tsp of oregano. Cook for 3-7 minutes or until the mushrooms have turned deep brown and the zucchini is cooked on both sides.
  7. While the veggies are cooking in a medium bowl add in the pastina, quinoa, carrots, shaved parmesan and Ragu Homestyle Thick & Hearty Roasted Garlic pasta sauce. Mix to combine.
  8. When the mushrooms and zucchini are done, scoop them out of the pan and place into the quinoa mixture. If there is any liquid in the pan, discard.
  9. Gently mix to combine.
  10. Next add in the chopped tomatoes, shredded mozzarella and ~2 Tbl bread crumbs. Mix to combine. The mixture should not be runny nor stick together. The mixture is loose. If it’s too loose or wet add in another Tbl or 2 of bread crumbs. Finally gently mix in the basil leaves.
  11. Spoon the mixture into the hulled out zucchini shells (you may have extra filling – that’s okay, it makes a great side dish, as-is).
  12. Bake for 20 minutes or until the zucchini is pierced easily but is still somewhat firm. You do not want it to be mushy as you want it to be able to be firm enough to be sliced.
  13. Remove from the oven, drizzle on some more Ragu Homestyle Thick & Hearty Roasted Garlic pasta sauce and bake for 2-3 minutes.
  14. Remove from the oven again, plate and garnish with shaved parmesan.




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