Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Ravioli Lasagna

Fall is here! The cool nights and mornings are just wonderful--I love fall. I love cooking in the fall as well because it means casseroles and soups, and chili! Ravioli Lasagna is one of those great fall night meals that will warm you up and make you kiss the closest person to you, well maybe not kiss, but you'll at least be warm and full on the inside.

I found the inspiration for this recipe from a Woman's Day magazine recipe using Italian sausage and ravioli. While it sounded good, I thought I could twist it to my personal taste and make it better. After all it's all about inspiration, right? I hope you do the same. I'm very much a pantry cook, I don't keep much fresh stuff on hand which explains the ingredients, you could use fresh onion and garlic if you wanted to, but I usually don't have it on hand.

Ravioli Lasagna
1 t. Olive Oil
1 pound ground beef ( I use at least 90% lean)
1 pound ground Italian sausage ( I use Jimmy Dean Italian)
1 T. Onion Powder (1 Cup, diced if using fresh)
1 T. Garlic Powder (3 cloves crushed if using fresh)
1 T. Italian Seasoning
3 oz. can sliced mushrooms, drained (you could use 1 lb. of fresh)
16 oz. jar Prego Ricotta Parmesan spaghetti sauce (I happened to have that on hand, any spaghetti sauce will suffice)
10 oz jar Ragu Alfredo sauce
1 pound of Sargento, grated Provolone Mozzarella cheese
Family size bag frozen Ravioli with cheese and spinach or plain.
Fill a large stock pot with water and put stove to boil. If you cover the pot the water will boil faster. For the lasagna sauce: In a medium size skillet, add olive oil to pan and bring up to medium high heat, add meats and cook until just brown, about five or six minutes. If you are using dried herbs, add them at about 3 minutes, if using fresh see note at bottom. Season with Salt and Pepper, adjust to taste. Add the jars of sauce and reduce heat to medium low and simmer to reduce the liquid. Your water should be boiling by now. When the water comes to a rolling boil, add the ravioli and boil 15 minutes. For my 9x13 pan I need 30 ravioli, 15 for each layer. While the ravioli is boiling, check the sauce it will be thickening and may need a good stir. This is a good time to get your salad made and set the table. When the ravioli floats, cook for about two minutes more then drain.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Get your 9x13 pan ready. Add 1/3 of your meat mixture to the pan, spread evenly. Place fifteen ravioli evenly on top of the sauce, then 1/3 more of the sauce. cover that with half of the cheese. Add 15 more of the ravioli, remaining sauce and remaining cheese. I sprinkled Parmesan over the whole thing and lightly sprinkled the dried Italian seasoning over just for color. Bake for about 30 minutes until the cheese is brown and bubbly. If time is not your friend kick up the oven to 400. I like my cheese very brown and crisp. Let it stand for about 10 minutes. so it can set up.
NOTE: If you are using the fresh onion, garlic, and mushrooms. Add the oil to the medium skillet, heat to medium high heat and add onion, cook two to three minutes until they begin to turn clear, add mushrooms and continue to cook on medium heat until mushrooms have released their water about 5 minutes, add garlic, cook another two minutes or until water is evaporated. Remove this to a paper plate or bowl and cook the meat.
Serve with a salad and garlic toast.

Just super. I have bought some sun-dried tomato basil bread from Panera Bread company and made garlic cheese bread with it. Simple. Melt about four tablespoons of butter and brush each slice with butter. Sprinkle with garlic salt and lightly sprinkle about a 1/4 cup cheese over all the slices ( buttered nine slices).
This picture is from the Woman's day article which inspired me.
Do try it's so good.

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