Zucchini Pistachio Ravioli with Burst Tomato Sauce by Chef Carrie Bonfitto

Chef Carrie Bonfitto
Chef Carrie Bonfitto

Holistic Chef Program Manager, Chef Carrie Bonfitto shows us a twist on using some of her most beloved ingredients, pistachios, zucchini, basil, and tomatoes to create a gluten-free and dairy-free dish that’s a perfect way to celebrate summer vegetables at their peak of flavor.

These vegetable-forward ravioli-esque packages come together quickly and don’t require you to boil water or turn on your oven. They are a go-to dish to keep your kitchen cool during the heat waves of July.

There are Zillions of Ways to Make Zucchini

I know that summer is in full swing when everyone starts asking me for ideas of what to do with their overload of zucchini. This is such a great problem to have!

There are zillions of ways to make zucchini. Some of my personal favorite dishes are zucchini butter, grilled zucchini, zucchini fritters, zucchini quiche, minestrone soup, raw zucchini ribbon salad, and zucchini almond gazpacho.


(Sadly, I never seem to have the problem of excess zucchini because I find that stuffed zucchini flowers are next to ambrosia on my culinary delights scale. So, my zucchini plants rarely make it to the fruiting stage before I eat all the blooms!)

But if you do find yourself with too much zucchini, I’d love for you to try my Zucchini “Ravioli” with Pistachio Filling and Burst Tomato Sauce.

A Fresh Ravioli-esque Dish that uses Zucchini Ribbons Instead of Pasta

This fresh ravioli-esque dish uses zucchini ribbons instead of pasta to form the ravioli packets and is inspired by a raw turnip ravioli dish that we feature in the Holistic Chef Program.

While my burst tomato sauce is cooked, you could easily keep this a 100% raw dish by hand chopping and tossing the sauce ingredients together to make a fresh tomato, basil, garlic accompaniment much like the topping for traditional bruschetta.

In this recipe, I use pistachios instead of a traditional meat filling for the ravioli because my grandmother would use mortadella, a classic Italian cured meat that often contains pistachios, as part of the meat mixture in her stuffed pastas. Mortadella is commonly used in the Emilia-Romagna region of northern Italy and I like giving a flavor nod to the traditional dish.

Using pistachios as the foundation of the filling gives these plant-based packages a hearty salty taste and along with the hemp hearts and nutritional yeast, they increase the protein to about 17 grams per serving.

Address that Abundance of Zucchini

To ensure that I address that abundance of zucchini, I use 5 total in this dish, in two different ways. First, I add a bit of it to the filling to create a fluffier interior texture. Then I utilize a Y-vegetable peeler to create ribbons of zucchini that I marinate and use as a pasta substitute to form the ravioli. Marinating the zucchini makes it more pliable and easier to fold.

Then all you need to do is make an X with two ribbons of zucchini, add your filling to the center, then fold over the sides starting with the strand on the bottom and working your way around in a circle.

There’s no need to cook the zucchini ravioli, especially if you are able to slice it thin enough with your peeler. However, if you prefer a softer texture, you can pop them into your burst tomato sauce and let them simmer covered on the stovetop for 5 minutes or until tender.

I hope you enjoy this recipe, and it brings new joy to your zucchini adventures!

Check out the recipe below or learn more about Chef Carrie and the rest of the Holistic Chef Team by visiting our faculty page.

Zucchini “Ravioli” with Pistachio Filling and Burst Tomato Sauce

Servings: 4

Zucchini Pistachio Ravioli with Burst Tomato Sauce
Zucchini “Ravioli” with Pistachio Filling and Burst Tomato Sauce


Pistachio Filling

  • 1 cup pistachios, soaked overnight
  • ¼ cup hemp hearts, soaked overnight
  • 1 medium zucchini, about 8 oz, grated
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • Juice of 1 lemon, about 2 tablespoons
  • 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
  • 1 cup basil, tightly packed
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • ¼ cup water, as necessary to thin the mixture

Zucchini “Ravioli”

  • ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 4 zucchini, about 2 inches thick

Burst Tomato Sauce

  • 4 cups grape tomatoes
  • ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • ½ tsp crushed red pepper flakes, or to taste
  • ½ cup dry white wine
  • 1 cup basil leaves, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon nutritional yeast
  • Sea salt and pepper, to taste


Pistachio Filling

  1. Soak the pistachios and hemp seeds to soften overnight or a minimum of 4 hours.
  2. Grate and salt the zucchini and let sit for about 15 minutes to release the water. (Do not drain, we use this flavorful and nutrient-dense water in the filling.)
  3. Drain the pistachios and hemp seeds and add them to a blender with the zucchini, its water, and all the remaining filling ingredients, except the additional ¼ cup water.
  4. Blend to create a uniform consistency adding the additional water as necessary.
  5. Set the mixture aside to let the flavors meld, while you cut the zucchini and work on the sauce. The filling can be made a day or two in advance and refrigerated until needed.

Zucchini “Ravioli”

  1. Combine the olive oil, salt, pepper, and lemon juice in a large bowl.
  2. Cut the ends off the zucchini. Using a Y-vegetable peeler or a mandolin, slice the zucchini lengthwise into long flat ribbons that resemble the thickness of pasta sheets.
  3. Add the ribbons to the olive oil mixture and marinate for 10-15 minutes as you make the sauce. 

Burst Tomato Sauce

  1. Thoroughly wash and dry the tomatoes.
  2. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the olive oil and then the tomatoes. Season with salt and pepper. Sauté the tomatoes until they burst and split open about 5-6 minutes.
  3. Stir in the garlic and crushed red pepper and sauté for about one minute.
  4. Add the wine and continue to cook the tomatoes for another 5 minutes. Stir in the basil until wilted. Season to taste and remove from heat.

To Assemble the Zucchini “Ravioli”

Using a large plate as a surface, lay two stands of zucchini to form an X shape. Add 1 teaspoon of the filling to the center of the X. Starting with one of the bottom ribbons, fold over the arms of the X one at a time to form a neat square package. Flip over the “ravioli” to keep it closed. Repeat until all the zucchini stands are used up.

Assembly of Ravioli for Zucchini Pistachio Ravioli with Burst Tomato Sauce
To assemble the Zucchini “Ravioli”

Note: If your ribbons are very narrow, you can overlap two ribbons to create a wider X.

To Plate

Place a hearty scoop of sauce to the bottom of a plate and nestle 5 zucchini pistachio “ravioli” on each plate. Garnish with more basil and some chopped pistachios. Enjoy!

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