This is a great short-cut way to make lasagna. The prepared ravioli takes the place of two labor-intensive steps of lasagna. There’s no boiling pasta and no layer of ricotta cheese to prepare. It’s great to keep in the freezer for your family, a potluck, or to bring to a neighbor or friend in need. And it’s absolutely delicious. You can adjust the recipe to your (or the recipient’s) taste, an you can make it vegetarian by eliminating the meats and upping the veggies.
- 1 pound sweet, mild, or hot Italian sausage (or a combination)
- 8-ounce package sliced mushrooms (I like Baby Bella)
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 24-ounce jar tomato-basil marinara sauce
- 14.5-ounce can petite cut tomatoes (with no salt added)
- 6-ounce bag baby spinach leaves
- 1/4 cup fresh chopped parsley
- 1 teaspoon dried basil
- 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
- dash of ground cinnamon
- 20-ounce package refrigerated four cheese ravioli
- 8-ounce package shredded Italian cheese blend
- 1/2 cup grated Parmesan or Romano cheese
Brown sausage and drain fat. Add mushrooms and garlic, cooking and stirring for two minutes. Add sauce, tomatoes (with juice), spinach, parsley, basil, oregano and cinnamon. Add 1/2 cup of water and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Simmer for 15 minutes.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Spray a 2.5 quart casserole dish with non-stick cooking spray.
To assemble, spoon 2 cups of the sauce into the prepared dish. Arrange half of the ravioli on top of the sauce. Spoon two cups of the sauce over the ravioli. Sprinkle with one cup of the Italian cheese bland. Arrange remaining ravioli over the cheese. Pour remaining sauce over the ravioli. Top with remaining cheeses.
Cover the dish with a tight-fitting lid or aluminum foil. (You can stop here and refrigerate overnight. Set on the counter for 30 minutes before cooking. This is also when you would freeze it.)
Bake for 30 minutes. Remove cover and continue to bake for 15 minutes or until cheese is melted and casserole is hot and bubbly. Remove from oven and let sit for 15 minutes. Serve with fresh chopped parsley or basil and additional grated cheese.
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