Thursday, June 12, 2008

Baked Ravioli

So, last week I finally knocked a recipe off my to-cook list that had been there from the start. Who knows why I waited so long to get around to it. But now that I've finally made it I know that the next time I make it things will be done differently. Don't get me wrong, this recipe is a good idea. The execution of it though left something to be desired. Next time I'll even probably use store-bought sauce. That probably sounds a wee bit lazy, but the whole time I was eating it I was thinking that it could be better. And the easiest way to make it better is to use our favorite jarred sauce. There was also too much sauce. That is partly due to the fact that I had a package of raviolis that was smaller than the recipe called for. Whatever the reason, too much of a mediocre sauce isn't really a good thing. Lastly, don't put my mozzarella on top of my parmesan. The mozzarella just stuck to the Parmesan and nothing else, resulting in a crust of cheese totally separate from the rest of the dish. Who knows, maybe I should have waited even longer to make this, ha.

Baked Ravioli
Recipe from Everyday Food; Serves 4 to 6

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
Coarse salt and ground pepper
1 1/2 teaspoons dried thyme, or oregano
1 can (28 ounces) whole tomatoes
1 can (28 ounces) crushed tomatoes
2 pounds store-bought ravioli
1 1/2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese

  • Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add onion and garlic, and season with salt and pepper; cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 5 minutes. Add thyme and tomatoes. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer, breaking up tomatoes with spoon, until sauce is thickened and reduced to about 5 1/2 cups, 20 to 25 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, cook ravioli in a large pot of boiling salted water just until they float to the top (pasta will continue to cook in oven). Drain pasta; return to pot.
  • Toss sauce with pasta. Pour pasta into a large gratin dish or 9-by-13-inch baking dish, and sprinkle with cheeses. Bake until golden, 20 to 25 minutes. Cool slightly before serving.
My notes: I was concerned about having too much sauce from the beginning, so I drained off some of the liquid from the whole tomatoes. That didn't seem to help too much. Instead of choosing between thyme or oregano I used 3/4 teaspoon of each. I also used somewhere in the ballpark of 1/4 teaspoon of red pepper flakes. I like a touch of spiciness. I was short about a half pound on the ravioli, but that seemed to the size that all the pasta I could find came in. And next time put mozzarella, then Parmesan, on top. Also, the less sauce the more the cheese will have something to actually melt to, duh.

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