Friday, July 18, 2014

Baked Ravioli

Today's post is about a recipe that isn't really a recipe.  It's so easy, I feel silly calling it a recipe.  But it is sooo good!  This is perfect for a night when you don't feel like cooking, but want comfort food.  Here's how you do it.


1 package frozen cheese ravioli
1 jar of your favorite spaghetti sauce (I like to doctor it up.  I'll tell you how  do it)
1/2 lb whole milk Mozzarella cheese (or you can use the pre-shredded stuff if you have it on hand)
grated Parmesan cheese

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.  Then start a big pot of water boiling on the stove.  While you wait for the water to boil, put the spaghetti sauce into a small pot and heat it up.  If you want to doctor it up a bit, add a little sugar (about 3 TBS) and a palmful of grated Parmesan cheese (about 1/4 cup) and a little black pepper.  Just adding these few ingredients gives the sauce a whole new flavor and makes it taste more like homemade.  Let it simmer while you get everything else ready.

Next, cut the Mozzarella into small, thin squares like this:

When your water is boiling, add a spoonful of salt.  Then gently drop in the ravioli.  Stir gently (you don't want them to fall apart).  They don't take very long, usually about 4 - 5 minutes.  Gently stir them every so often.  They float to the top when done.

Right before you remove the ravioli,  add a thin layer of sauce to a 9x13 baking dish.

Then, use a big slotted spoon to remove the ravioli from the water, making sure to let the excess water drain off (this is gentler than dumping them into a colander).  Then place them in the baking dish (on top of the sauce).

Spoon another thin layer of sauce over the ravioli and gently stir to make sure they are completely covered.

Place the Mozzarella over the top evenly, then sprinkle on a thin layer of grated Parmesan cheese.

Cover with foil and bake in a preheated oven (400 degrees) for 15 minutes.  Then, remove the foil and bake another 10 minutes or until the top is bubbly and brown.

Once out of the oven, let it sit for a few minutes.  This just helps it  come together nicely.  If you dig in right away, it'll just be a big old mess.  After it sits, dish it up with the extra sauce.  Delicious!  I serve this with garlic bread and green beans or a salad.  

This is an easy recipe with a comfort food payoff.  You get the same flavors as manicotti or stuffed shells, but without all the work.  I'm all for less work.  Enjoy!

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