I bring to you a 15-ish minute meal.
It's easy, delicious, and totally customizeable. Like baked ziti or lasagna-flavored but way simpler.
What is it, anyway, about baked Italian dishes? Chicken parm, the aforementioned ziti and lasagna, chicken spaghetti, eggplant parm....it's just so GOOD when baked with marinara and topped with cheese.
Maybe it's the cheese.
Anyway, this is probably going to be my go-to meal for the fall. Frozen ravioli, quick marinara (or jarred, to save even more time!), tossed together then baked for 20 minutes or so until bubbly. This is a GREAT one to make on a weekend if you wanted to make your own sauce or go nuts and make your own ravioli, then just bake it when you're ready to eat it!
The ravioli in these photos comes from our farmer's market via Rio Bertonlini's pasta. Fresh pasta is admittedly a little more expensive, so we don't buy it often, but it's a SUPER fun farmer's market addition, and nice to have one or two batches in the freezer for lazy nights. Which, I have about every other day. They're local-ish too (from Charleston, 3 hours from us), and their stuff is DELISH. If you're in Greenville or Charleston definitely give them a try!
For this, I'm showing basic marinara to go with it - you can use 1 - 2 cups of prepared sauce, too! Just omit the onion, garlic, crushed red pepper, sugar, and tomatoes. If you want to make your own sauce, you'll need frozen ravioli, onion, sugar, garlic, crushed red pepper, canned crushed tomatoes, parmesan cheese, and shredded mozzarella. Feel FREE to shred your own, but the bagged stuff works just fine for this method!
Now, if you're going to assemble this, bake it, and eat it, preheat the oven to 375F while you assemble the ravioli. If you're going to bake it LATER, you'll put the baking dish in a cold oven, turn the oven to 375F, and allow it to come up to temp slowly for 45 minute so until heated through and bubbly on top. Your choice! Preheat the oven NOW if you want to eat right away, is what I'm saying.
First, boil some water for the ravioli. When the water boils, salt it liberally and boil the ravioli for 3 - 5 minutes, JUST until they start to float. If your ravioli aren't frozen they may only take two minutes. Drain 'em and set them aside!
For the sauce, heat a skillet to medium heat with a drizzle of olive oil and finely chop the onion.
Add the onion with the crushed red pepper and a sprinkle of salt to the pan to start cooking.
After the onions have softened, 3 minutes or so, add the garlic and stir for one more minute.
Then add the tomatoes and ¼ teaspoon of sugar. stir the sauce, taste, and add more salt to your taste. Marinara! This is the only way I EVER make it, and it's my favorite.
Now, add the ravioli to the marinara and stir to coat for 1 minute. I only made this for 2, and the marinara with 1 large can of tomatoes is enough for 4, so if you're making a smaller batch just save any leftover marinara after you use the ravioli. No worries!
To assemble the dish, add half the marinara-coated ravioli to a baking dish, then sprinkle with half the mozzarella.
Then, repeat! Add the remaining ravioli...
Top the whole thing with parmesan, and we're ready to bake!
Bake the ravioli for 20 - 30 minutes (45 or so from the fridge) at 375F uncovered until the cheese on top is melted, bubbly, and slightly brown. The ravioli will finish cooking through and everything will be magical.
I topped this with a little fresh parsley because I had it, but you can totes skip that part - fresh herbs are just for fun!
Like with any Italian meal, you can serve this with salad and/or bread and call it a DAY. If you use veggie ravioli, though, you've actually got a really balanced meal! Mine were chive-flavored, so they had a nice mild flavor with the cheese. Use any kind of ravioli you want, though - this meal can be different every time you make it!
I'm glad it's getting kind of cold-ish. It gives me more reasons to bake things with ooey gooey cheese.
- Total Time: 45 minutes
- 12 frozen ravioli, flavor your choice
- 1 small onion, chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 28 oz canned crushed tomatoes
- salt, to taste
- ¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper
- ¼ teaspoon sugar
- 1 cup shredded mozzarella
- 2 tablespoons grated parmesan cheese
- fresh herbs, chopped, optional, for serving
- To cook immediately, preheat the oven to 375F.
- Bring a pot of water to boil with some salt. Boil the ravioli for 3 - 5 minutes until they just start to float. If ravioli are thawed, less time will be needed.
- Meanwhile, make the marinara. Drizzle olive oil in a skillet over medium heat with the onion, crushed red pepper, and a sprinkle of salt. Stir for 3 minutes until onions start to soften. Add the garlic and stir for 1 minute more. Add the tomatoes and sugar. Stir to combine and taste: add more salt to your preference.
- Add the ravioli to the marinara and stir to coat.
- For the dish, use a baking dish suitable for the amount of ravioli you are making. A 7-inch round casserole or equivalent is perfect for two! To assemble, layer half the ravioli and half the mozzarella, then repeat. Top with the parmesan. Reserve any extra marinara for serving or for another use.
- Bake the ravioli at 375F for 20 - 30 minutes uncovered until the cheese is melted and slightly browned and ravioli is hot all the way through. Serve topped with fresh herbs if desired.
- For make-ahead, keep covered in the fridge for up to three days. To reheat, bake covered for 30 minutes, then uncovered 15 - 20 more minutes until bubbly, browned, and hot all the way through.
- Prep Time: 15
- Cook Time: 30
- Serving Size: 2
Shared at Weekend Potluck!
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