Hollow out the middle of the patty pan squash.
Comparing the Fat Content of Ricotta Cheese
This stuffed patty pan squash recipe can be made with any type of ricotta cheese depending on your nutritional goals and of course, how pleasing the dish is to your palate.
While developing this recipe I experimented with both low fat and part skim ricotta cheese. The low fat version was quite delicious but lacked a bit in appearance. Part skim ricotta had a bit more structure as you would expect with a little over twice the fat content. If I were making this for me and my husband, I would make it with the low fat cheese. If I were entertaining and more interested in appearance, I'd use the part skim. It's still pretty low in calories and saturated fat.
I would not recommend using the fat free ricotta unless your doctor has you on a strict, no fat diet. I tried it years ago in a lasagna recipe and it was tasteless and had no texture. I haven't used it again since. I also wouldn't make the recipe with whole milk ricotta because of the very high fat content, especially when you can get almost that kind of smoothness with the part skim.
Let me share the nutritional content of all four so you can compare and decide, depending on your requirements, which ricotta you will use when you make this recipe or other recipes requiring ricotta (like lasagna, manicotti or stuffed shells).
Nutritional Content for 1/4 Cup Ricotta (Precious Brand)
Fat Free - 45 calories, 0 g fat, 0 g saturated fat, 15 g cholesterol, 6 g protein, 4 g carbohydrates and 0 g of fiber. Provides 20% daily value of calcium.
Low Fat - 50 calories, 2.0 g fat, 1.0 g saturated fat, 15 mg cholesterol, 6 g protein, 4 g carbohydrates and 1 g of fiber. Provides 15% daily value of calcium.
Part skim - 80 calories, 4.5 g fat, 2.5 g saturated fat, 30 mg cholesterol, 5 g protein, 4 g carbohydrates and 0 g of fiber. Provides 15% daily value of calcium.
Whole milk - 110 calories, 9 g fat, 5 g saturated fat, 40 mg cholesterol, 5 g protein, 2 g carbohydrates and 0 g of fiber. Provides 15% daily value of calcium.
Vegetarian Stuffed Patty Pan Squash [serves 2]
2 patty pan squash, 3 1/2 inches wide
1/2 cup low fat or part skim ricotta cheese
1 1/2 Medjool dates, pitted and chopped
2 tablespoons peeled apple, chopped
1/4 teaspoon sweet curry
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon raw walnuts, chopped
1 teaspoon fresh parsley, chopped
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Slice the tops off the patty pan squash and with a small spoon, hollow them out being careful not to pierce through their bottoms. Set aside. In a small bowl, mix ricotta, dates, apples, curry and salt. Fill the squash and put in an oven proof casserole dish with about 1/4 cup of water in the bottom. Cover and bake for 40 minutes or until a fork can pierce the sides of the squash. Remove from oven, top with walnuts and parsley and serve.
Per serving using low fat ricotta: 129 calories, 2.8 g fat, 1.1 g saturated fat, 15 mg cholesterol, 6.2 g protein, 22.5 g carbohydrates and 3.6 g of fiber.
Per serving using part skim ricotta: 159 calories, 5.3 g fat, 2.6 g saturated fat, 30 mg cholesterol, 5.2 g protein, 22.5 g carbohydrates and 2.6 g of fiber.