While the snow and frigid air continues to hang around, beat the chill by baking a belly-warming pasta dish! Check out Martha Stewart’s homemade version of this dish, but realistically, does anyone really have time to slave over their own tomato sauce?
Here’s my simplified take on Martha’s dish:
1 bag of frozen cheese raviolis (1 bag = 1 lbs., which feeds about four people)
1 jar of quality tomato sauce (Barilla)
Few fresh basil leaves (4 large leaves)
2 cloves of garlic
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 cup parmesan or mozzarella cheese (either works well)
Salt and pepper
Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
Begin by mincing (finely chopping) the two cloves of garlic and thinly slicing the basil leaves. In a saucepan, heat the olive oil and add garlic. If the garlic seems to be sizzling too loudly, turn the heat down to medium-high to prevent the garlic from burning.
Once the garlic has sauteed for about one minute, add the jar of tomato sauce to the pan, incorporating the garlic and oil with a spoon. After the sauce has heated through (about five minutes on medium-high heat), add the chopped basil and sprinkle in salt and pepper. The longer you let the sauce cook, the more time the flavors will have to become richer and stronger. Usually an hour will suffice for a sauce rich in flavor.
When you are ready to eat, start to boil a pot of water. When the water is bubbling rigorously, add two tablespoons of salt, which will enhance the flavor of the ravioli. Add the ravioli and follow the cooking instructions on the bag (typically under ten minutes).
Drain the ravioli and add it into the empty pot. Spoon the cooked sauce over the ravioli and mix until all the ravioli have been covered. Transfer the pasta into a baking dish, which should be sprayed down with non-stick spray beforehand. Add a liberal amount of mozzarella or parmesan cheese over the top and place in a pre-heated, 375 degree Fahrenheit oven. Cook for about ten minutes or until the cheese is completely melted.
After removing the dish from the oven, place it on a towel or trivet (so the counter doesn’t melt!) for about three minutes.
Serve and enjoy!