Friday, September 9, 2011


My husband and I are planning to go to the beach tomorrow, so I should give our little Button a bath and put her to bed, but... I'm not. And I should finish washing her diapers and packing a bag for tomorrow, but... I'm not. I just can't shake the nagging desire to fill my blog with substance so that if anyone should stumble across it they don't just give it a once over and say, "eh..." and move along to whatever else people do on the internet.

So I thought I'd make a little headway in that department and share with you one of my favorite quick/easy dinners. Its basically a Ravioli Lasagna and the great thing about it is that its really flexible. Its great with simple store bought ingredients, but you could really class it up by making everything from scratch.

Here's what you need:
  • 1 lb ground meat (If that's your thing. You can skip it if you're vegetarian or use some kind of tofu)
  • 2 24 oz jars of pasta sauce
  • 25 oz of ravioli (We just use the frozen stuff. I recommend getting big raviolis though. The stamp sized ones leave a lot of gaps.)
  • 3 cups shredded part-skim mozzarella (We usually use at least 4 cups.)
  • 3/4 cup grated Parmesan

Here's a few optional things too:
  • 1 cup diced onion (I like to cook it with a little olive oil and salt and then cook the meat with it. It would also be good in the sauce.)
  • Shredded zucchini and squash (I like to hide it in the sauce. You can cook it in olive oil first but I usually don't. Carrots would work well too.)
  • Sliced mushrooms (My husband won't eat them, so I don't bother.)
  • Herbs and Spices (I'm a big fan of good ol' salt and pepper. I really like basil too. My husband likes to make his sauce spicy. You can really tailor this dish to your liking.)

The recipe is very simple:
  1. Bring a pot of water to a boil, add a splash of olive oil and cook your raviolis. (The oil keeps them from sticking.) Drain and let cool.
  2. While your raviolis are cooking, season and cook your meat in a skillet and set it aside.
  3. Heat your sauce. (I usually only do this when I'm adding veggies to it.)
  4. Spoon a thin layer of sauce in the bottom of a 13x9x2 baking dish.
  5. Layer with half of your raviolis. Follow with another layer of sauce, then meat, and cheese. Repeat the layers.
  6. Cover with tinfoil and bake for 25-30 minutes at 375 degrees. Uncover and bake for another 10 or so minutes. Let it cool for about 10 minutes and serve.
This dish is a great way to use spaghetti leftovers and freezes well so you can make more than one at a time. I'm not sure exactly how many servings it makes, but I know for sure I've fed six people and had a little leftover. I hope you enjoy this and feel free to let me know if you come up with any variations!

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