Baked Ravioli; Mixed Green and Pepper Salad with Lemon-Garlic Dressing

By Ira,

Even though this is a baked meal, it still only takes about half an hour to prepare, including baking time. It is a very comforting meal, yet very light.

Baked Ravioli

Serves 6 to 8 – Adapted from Cook’s Illustrated Cover and Bake

  • salt
  • 2 pounds frozen or fresh cheese ravioli
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil or butter, separated
  • 1 medium onion, minced
  • 1 pound hot or sweet Italian sausage, removed from its casing
  • 6 medium garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 28 ounce can tomato puree
  • 1 14.5 ounce can diced tomatoes, drained
  • 4 ounces mozzarella cheese, shredded (about 1 1/3 cup)
  • 1 ounce Parmesan cheese, grated (about 1/2 cup)

Note: You can make this dish a vegetarian one by omitting the sausage. You can also use less than 1 pound. I used Applegate’s sweet Italian sausage. However, it’s a type of sausage that doesn’t have a casing and does not break down, so I sliced it thinly.

Heat the oven to 400 degrees with the rack in the middle position.

In a large stockpot, bring 6 quarts of water to a boil. Add 1 tablespoon of salt and the ravioli and cook until it is tender, about 10 minutes. If you’re using frozen ravioli and it says on the package that you only need to boil it for a few minutes, it is best that you boil it for longer as you want it to be soft and not have tough outer edges. When you drain it, return it back to the pot, and gently stir it with 1 tablespoon olive oil or butter.

While the pasta water is heating up, add 1 tablespoon oil or butter to a 12 inch skillet over medium high heat. Add the minced onion and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally (do not burn it!).

Add the sausage, and cook it for another 5 minutes. If you’re using the type of sausage that comes out of its casing, then break up the meat into small pieces with a wooden spoon while it’s cooking.

Add the garlic, red pepper flakes, and oregano, and stir for 30 seconds.

Add the tomato puree and diced tomatoes. Bring it to a simmer, then reduce the heat, and let it simmer for 10 minutes.

Add the cooked ravioli, and stir gently to combine. Pour it into a 13 x 9 inch baking dish, and gently form it into an even layer.

Sprinkle the mozzarella and Parmesan evenly on top.

Bake for 15 minutes until slightly browned on top.

Mixed Green and Pepper Salad with Lemon-Garlic Dressing

  • 1 package of mixed greens salad
  • 1 bell pepper (any color), thinly sliced
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon dijon mustard
  • 1 garlic minced
  • salt and pepper

While the pasta is baking, you can quickly put together this salad. Mix together the lemon, olive oil, mustard, garlic, salt and pepper in a small bowl. Add 2 tablespoons dressing to a bowl of mixed greens and pepper. Gently stir to combine the dressing.

Taste the salad and add extra dressing, salt and pepper accordingly.

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