With my girls off babysitting today and my son helping my hubby chop wood all afternoon, I enjoyed a Sunday afternoon watching a Law & Order: SVU marathon that I had recorded on the DVR.
A warm, crackling fire? Check.
A cup of Sleepytime Herbal Tea? Check.
My favorite Nonni's Caramel Milk Chocolate Biscotti Bites? Check.
Comfy yoga pants and fuzzy socks? Check.
Stabler and Benson on my t.v. screen? Check.
It was an afternoon of pure bliss.
(And, just so you don't think that I'm too incredibly lazy ... I did bundle up [eventually] and trek outdoors to help with the final hour or so of wood stacking.)
Oh, and I made dinner.
But, shhhhhh! Don't tell my family how quick and easy this recipe is to make! I'm positive that they think I must have been slaving away all day putting this together! (It'll be our little secret.)
This is such a simple recipe as it is written. But, it is easy to adapt it to suit your preferences. Round or square ravioli can be used. Refrigerated "fresh" ravioli can be used or you can use frozen ravioli. I keep this vegetarian, but you can layer in cooked ground beef or sausage. And, adding in fresh spinach or mushrooms, for example, makes this super hearty and gives you another layer of flavor.
Yields 4 - 6 servings.
9-ounce package four-cheese ravioli (I buy Buitoni brand in the refrigerated section)
1 jar marinara sauce (24 - 26 oz.)
4 ounces shredded mozzarella cheese
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup shaved Parmesan cheese (optional)
4 ounces fresh mozzarella, torn into chunks
Fresh basil or parsley, chopped (for garnish)
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Coat a 10 - 12" round or 9 x 13 casserole dish with non-stick spray. Set aside.
Bring a large pot of water to boil. Liberally salt water once it comes to a boil. Drop the pasta in and cook for 3 - 4 minutes ... no longer. (Do not cook for the length of time stated on the package.) Stir the pasta a couple of times while it cooks.
Spread 1/3 of the marinara sauce into the bottom of your baking dish. Place half of the par-cooked ravioli in a single layer on top of the marinara.
Spread another 1/3 of the marinara onto the first ravioli layer. Sprinkle on the shredded mozzarella in an even layer. Top with the remaining ravioli in a single layer.
Spread the remaining marinara sauce on top of the final ravioli layer. Sprinkle on the grated Parmesan cheese. Place the fresh mozzarella around on top. Sprinkle on the shaved Parmesan.
Cover tightly with foil and bake for 30 - 35 minutes.
Remove foil and continue baking for an additional 5 - 10 minutes or until everything is nice and bubbly.
Garnish with fresh basil or parsley, if desired.
NOTE: This can be made utilizing frozen ravioli. It will need boiled just a few minutes longer than fresh.
08/09/16: Updated main photo and made clarifications to post.