Thursday, June 14, 2012

I can't name it

Ever heard of ravioli lasagna?  I hadn't, or didn't THINK I had, as of last night when dinner preparations began the in usual way, with me looking in the freezer to suss out what the inspiration would be.  The choices were ham, sausage, hot dogs, and frozen ravioli.  Oh, and chicken.  There's almost always chicken.

Which, of course, is why we went with the ravioli.

And sausage.


I got to thinking, and wanted something different than 'regular' ravioli, which, even when coated with lovely Parmesean cheese, tend to slide around on the plate as you attempt to cut into them with the side of a fork.  No, nobody should use a knife to cut ravioli, it's inelegant!  I wanted something more...solid...and thought 'hey, why not make some lasagna-ish thing that will hold together well and NOT slug itself all over the plate,' and thus I did.  Here's how:

Parboil 5 sausages in a large pot.  It can be the same pot (and water!) that you intend to cook the ravioli in, that's fine.  While the sausages are cooking, dice an onion and 3 cloves of garlic, saute the onion until translucent then add the garlic and cook, stirring constantly, for 30 seconds over low heat.  Add 2 cups frozen shredded spinach, cook a couple of minutes, then add in 1 15-ounce can of diced tomatoes and 1 15-ounce can of plain sauce.  Stir in 1/2 cup red wine after swishing it around in the sauce can, then add whatever herbs you might like.  I used about a teaspoon each of dried basil and oregano, and 1/2 teaspoon of red pepper flakes.  Let that cook down while you're fishing the sausages out of the simmering pot (after you're pretty sure they're done).

Once the sauce has simmered for 30 minutes or so and is looking pretty thick, add about 4 ounces of light cream cheese (or not, your call).  Melt the cream cheese into the sauce so it gets silky and very thick.  Taste and adjust seasonings if needed.  While that's bubbling, boil about 20 large ravioli  for a bit under their called-for boil time - you want them 'al dente,' not falling apart.  Slice the sausage while you're waiting for them to cook.

Prepare a large baking pan with a little cooking spray, then fish the cooked pasta out of the pot and place in a single layer in the bottom of the pan.  Overlap 'em a little if they don't fit, but remember, they're going to be slippery. :|  Spread the lovely thick sauce over that, then evenly distribute the sausage on the sauce.  Sprinkle with about 1/2 cup shredded mozzarella (or more, your call), then bake for 20-30 mins uncovered until the cheese is bubbly.  Remove from oven (and turn the oven off while you're at it, please), and let sit for 10 minutes before serving.

By my calculations, this should serve about 6 people heartily.  So far we've 'used up' about 5 meals worth, and there are about 2 lunch-size portions left.

And I know all good food blogs have pictures of the finished product, but we didn't take a photo until it was over half gone, so here's that one.  My food stylist (me) needs some lessons, methinks.

An hour earlier it had been whole and bubbling. Oh how the mighty have fallen (for it).
That's it from here for today, just thought I'd share OUR rendition of 'Ravasagna' with you so that I remember it when I want to make it again.

Hope you're having a Thpethial Thurthday - Tiff out.

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