Baked Ravioli!

When I have served ravioli in the past, I normally just boil the pasta and top it with my mom’s homemade spaghetti sauce.  Last week I ran across a recipe that takes my process one step further — you top it with cheese and bake it in the oven.  The obvious benefit to this variation: you can make this a day ahead  and then just pop it in the oven . . . perfect for those days when you know you don’t have a lot of time for the prep.  Enjoy!

Baked Ravioli

2 Tablespoons of olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
3 cloves of garlic, minced
Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
1-1/2 teaspoons of dried thyme, or oregano
1 can (28-ounces) whole tomatoes
1 can (28-ounces) crushed tomatoes
2 pounds frozen ravioli
1-1/2 cups of shredded mozzarella cheese
1/2 cup of grated Parmesan cheese

1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.  Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium heat.  Add the onions and garlic and season with the salt and pepper.  Cook while stirring occasionally until softened (about 5 minutes).  Add the thyme and tomatoes.  Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer (breaking up the tomatoes as you go) until the sauce is thickened and reduced to about 5-1/2 cups (20-25 minutes).

2.  Meanwhile, cook the ravioli in a large pot of boiling salt water just until they float to the top (pasta will continue to cook in the oven).  Drain the pasta and return to the pot.

3.  Toss the sauce with the pasta.  Pour the pasta into a 13×9 baking dish and sprinkle with the cheeses.  Bake until golden (about 20-25 minutes).  Cool slightly before serving.


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