Friday, April 30, 2010

Ravioli Bake (a dish that tastes a lot like lasagna, that you can make in a fraction of the time)

Ravoili Bake on plate

Sometime last year I scanned through one of the last issues that I got the Kraft magazine. I remembered seeing a recipe that used layers of ravioli in some sort of casserole type thing. I thought "Hmmmm interesting". Now stick with me on this. I know it seems a little Semi-Ho-ish*, I do know this. Translation: Semi-Ho: Anything that Sandra Lee would make, match her drapery and tablecloth to and accompany a big ole pitcher of booze to go along with. If you've ever watched Sandra you know what I'm talking about. Nuff said.

I forgot about that recipe until I was roaming the aisles at my local Sam's Club looking for some dinner inspiration. Lemme tell ya, Sam's is usually not the place that inspires me.

We've been eating a lot less meat lately since we decided to buy only organic or locally raised meat and poultry, so new meatless dishes are always welcome.

I passed by the frozen food section, and while I was repeatably telling Evan "no were not buying those frozen taquitos" I spotted some jumbo cheese ravioli. "I can work with those" I thought.

So I boiled the ravioli just until they floated, then I strained them and ran cold water over them to stop the cooking process. They were very, very al dente.

I put a little sauce in the bottom of the pan, added in a layer of ravioli, a little mozzarella cheese, a little sauce and a sprinkling of Parmesan. Repeated the layers, ending up with sauce on the the top. Popped it into a 350 oven and BINGO! A quick and easy dish that really did taste like lasagna.

This is how one of the layers looked in the baking dish.

Ravoili Bake uncooked

I served it with a nice big salad and some fresh Italian bread. The kids and the adults loved it! This huge dish (I used all 4 pounds of the ravioli in my package) served 4 adults and 3 hungry teenagers with just a tiny bit left over. It was a huge hit.

Ravoili Bake on plate CU

I would recommend using the jumbo ravioli and not the regular squares ones. I think the smaller ones have a tendency break more easily and leak all the cheesy goodness.

Even though it's pretty simple, here's the recipe.

Ravioli Bake
1 package cheese ravioli (I used a 4 pound pkg of jumbo's from Sam's, if you're cooking for a smaller crowd, adjust accordingly)
Spaghetti sauce
Mozzarella cheese
Grated Parmesan cheese

Boil the ravioli just until they begin to float to the top of the water. As soon as you see them float, get them out of the water, into a strainer and run some cold water over them to stop the cooking process.

Place some sauce in the bottom of a casserole dish and start layering. Ravioli, then some mozzarella, a little more sauce and a sprinkle of Parmesan. Like I said, I made a huge dish, I was cooking for a crowd so I was up to four layers at the end.

End with a top layer of sauce. Sprinkle a little more mozzarella and Parmesan on top, cover with foil, and bake approximately 30 minutes in a 350 oven, or until hot and bubbly. I take the foil off the last 10 minutes or so. Let it sit 10 minutes then dig in.
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