Let's Dish With Linda Lou

Where You Taste The Love

Cheese Ravioli Lasagna In A Tomato Basil Meat Sauce

Check out my new twist on a classic.

Let's Dish

 

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Is it crazy to imagine taking a classic dish like lasagna and shaking it up a bit, right? What about taking a little help from your local grocery store. A great start is by purchasing a really good jarred sauce and making it taste as if you made it from scratch. This sauce will taste likes its been simmering on the stove all day.

The other ingredient I’m going to be using for this dish is a good quality store-bought cheese ravioli. They’re found in the freezer section of the grocery store. My favorite is the mini cheese ravioli.

If you’ve been reading my blog, you know that I’m utilizing each one of my fresh herbs, from my Organic Hanging Herb Garden, and incorporating them into my dishes. I’m highlighting sweet basil in my Cheese Ravioli Lasagna In A Tomato Basil Meat Sauce.

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Tomato Basil Meat Sauce

Tomato Basil Meat Sauce

Cheese Ravioli

8 X 11 Baking Dish

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Cheese Ravioli Lasagna (3)

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Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 3 to 40 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
Yields: 8 to 10 servings
Equipment: 1 (9 x 13) baking dish, 2 (6-quart) saucepots, slotted spoon colander, a rimmed baking sheet pan, mini food processor or Microplane

Ingredients:
4 tablespoons of olive oil
2 pounds (90% lean) ground sirloin
1 large onion, diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon of dried oregano
1 teaspoon of red pepper flakes
1/4 cup of light brown sugar, lightly packed
1 teaspoon of fresh thyme leaves, finely chopped
2 (24-ounce) jars of Rao’s Marinara Sauce, tomato basil variety
2 tablespoons of Kosher salt
2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup of chicken stock, unsalted
2 (1 pound 6-ounce) packages of frozen mini cheese ravioli
1 cup of fresh basil leaves, finely chopped
3/4 cup of Italian flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped (reserve 1/4 cup for the top)
2 packages of shredded mozzarella cheese
1 cup of Parmigiano-Reggiano, freshly grated

Directions:
In a large saucepot over medium-high heat add olive. Add diced onions 1 tablespoon of Kosher salt, 1 teaspoon of freshly ground black pepper, red pepper flakes, dried oregano, and light brown sugar. Cook, stirring frequently, until the onions soften, 2 to 3 minutes. Next, add the chicken stock, bring to a boil, reduce the heat, and simmer for another 2 to 3 minutes reducing the liquid by half.

Reduce the heat to low, add both jars of tomato basil sauce. Simmer for another 15 minutes. Turn the heat to off, add the finely chopped fresh basil leaves, stir to combine.

In another saucepot over medium-high heat add 2 tablespoons of olive oil and the ground sirloin, 1 tablespoon of Kosher salt, and 1 teaspoon of fresh ground black pepper. Using a wooden spoon, break up the ground meat, stirring frequently. Add fresh thyme continue to cook until the sirloin is no longer pink and cooked through, about 12 to 15 minutes. Transfer the cooked sirloin, using a slotted spoon, to the containing the tomato sauce.

While the sauce is simmering have a large pot of salted boiling water ready. Add 1 tablespoon of olive oil to prevent the ravioli from sticking. Let cook just under the required time on the package, about 5 minutes. They’ll continue their cooking during the baking process. Drain the ravioli. Rinse under cool water to stop the cooking process, then drain well.

Preheat oven to 350-degrees F.
Start by ladling around 1 1/2 cups of the tomato basil sauce on the bottom of the baking dish. Next, arrange the mini ravioli in the dish covering all of the sauce. Then add the 1 package of shredded Mozzarella cheese and 1/2 cup of the grated Parmigiano-Reggiano covering all the ravioli. Sprinkle with half of the finely chopped flat-leaf Italian parsley. Top with another layer of the tomato basil sauce. Repeat this process one more time. You want to the shredded Mozzarella and grated Parmigiano-Reggiano end up on top. Finally, sprinkle the rest of the finely chopped flat-leaf Italian parsley over the cheese.

Spray the underside (dull side) of the foil with non-stick cooking spray and cover the dish tightly. This will prevent the cheese from sticking to the foil. Place the baking dish on top of a sheet pan. Bake covered for 30 minutes. Remove the foil and bake uncovered for another 10 or until the top is golden brown.

Let the baking dish rest for at least 15 minutes to set, before cutting.  Serve with fresh basil leaves.

Note:
What’s great about this recipe is you can prepare everything in advance. All you need to do is to prepare the sauce and the cheese ravioli. Layer all the ingredients into the baking dish. Allow enough time for the dish to come to room temperature. Spray off the dull side of the foil with non-stick cooking spray before tightly wrapping the baking dish. That will prevent the cheese from sticking to the foil in the baking process.

Transfer the whole covered dish into the refrigerator until you’re ready to bake. I recommend no more than two days. If it’s been previously refrigerated, the baking time will vary (may take 45 to 50 minutes or until golden and bubbly).

My Organic Hanging Herb Garden

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Whole Foods, Parmigiano-Reggiano Display

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I was strolling through the Whole Foods market when this wheel of Parmigiano-Reggiano display caught my eye. Oh yeah, the “on-sale” sign too!

Right behind the Parmigiano-Reggiano Display wheel is an enormous wall of cheeses from around the world, I mean that literally! There are cheeses from all over the world, and I’m planning on trying a few of them in the very near future.

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The most amazing moment was watching the process of opening an eighty-pound Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese wheel.

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It turns out, this is a pretty big undertaking, and definitely takes some time to complete. Once that wheel is cracked open, it’s pretty awesome! I bought myself a couple of big wedges. When I returned home from the store, I placed one in the freezer and one in the frig. I think it’s going to be a pasta night!

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Cast-Iron Skillet Pull-Apart Stuffed Pizza

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My Cast Iron Skillet Pull-Apart Stuffed Pizza is a perfect dish to eat when watching football. I serve it with a side of Marinara sauce. Served hot or at room temperature, these pull-a-part pizza bites can be individually customized. You could get really creative and make them with a variety of fillings. All You need is a cast-iron skillet.

Let’s start with the filling.

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Diced Fire Roasted Tomatoes

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Oregano

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Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 52 minutes (this includes the filling)
Total Time: 1 hour 2 minutes
Yields: 6 servings
Equipment: 12-inch cast-iron skillet, rolling pin, 12-inch sauté pan, 2 rimmed baking sheet pan, parchment paper, mini food processor, mini tart pans with removable bottoms

Ingredients:
1 pound store-bought pizza dough, room temperature (rolled out and cut into circles, 4 inches in diameter, need 24 circles)
1 pound of sweet and/or hot Italian sausage, casings removed
2 tablespoons of Canola oil (add oil to a paper towel and thoroughly grease the cast iron skillet)
1/2 yellow onion, diced
1/2 diced red bell pepper, seeded and diced
1/2 a Poblano pepper, seeded and diced (substitute green bell pepper)
1/2 a yellow bell pepper, seeded and diced
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon of olive oil
1 (14.5-ounce) can of fire-roasted tomatoes, drained
2 tablespoons of dried oregano
1 tablespoon of Kosher salt
1 teaspoon of black pepper
1 cup of Mozzarella cheese, freshly grated
1/2 cup of Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, freshly grated
2 tablespoons of Italian flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped
1 tablespoon of fresh oregano leaves, finely chopped
Canola oil

Season Butter:
1/2 stick of melted butter, unsalted
1/8 teaspoon of garlic powder
1/8 teaspoon of Italian seasoning
Marinara sauce for dipping (substitute store-bought pizza sauce)

Directions:
Preheat oven to 400-degrees F.
Preheat a large sautèpan over medium-high heat. Add olive oil and sausage. Using the back of a wooden spoon break up the sausage. Cook, moving the sausage around, until brown and no longer pink, about 10 to 12 minutes.

In the same sautè pan add all the veggies, Kosher salt, fresh ground black pepper, and dried oregano stir to combine. Cook, stirring frequently until veggies soften, around 3 to 5 minutes. Add the drained fire-roasted tomatoes, reduce the heat to medium-low stirring occasionally, simmer for an additional 10 minutes. Finish by adding fresh Italian flat-leaf parsley and fresh oregano, mix to combine.

Using a slotted spoon to drain any excess grease, transfer the pizza filling to a large mixing bowl to cool. Once cooled, add the shredded Mozzarella and Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, stir to combine. Move on to rolling out the pizza dough.

Start by rolling ou the pizza dough to about 1/4-inch thick. Using the bottom of a mini tart pan, cut out 24 (4-inch) circles and lay them out onto two rimmed baking sheet pans lined with parchment paper. Add Canola oil to a piece of paper towel and wipe down the cast iron skillet really well.

Start adding 1 tablespoon of the filling to the circles of pizza dough and folding them into a crescent shape. Next, place them in a circular pattern starting at the outside of the skillet and work your way inwards.

Bake on the bottom rack for about 25 minutes or until the crust is golden brown. Be sure to keep your eye on it while it’s baking. Once the Cast Iron Skillet Pull-Apart Pizza is still hot, brush the top with the seasoned butter. Serve with a side of marinara or pizza sauce.

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