Alert the media! The dinner that I served my family on Sunday evening was a winner, and then some. I’m talking about a dinner that every member of the family ate and pronounced as delicious.
This does not happen in this house.
And! You can make it in the crockpot!
1 tbsp. olive oil
Two 25 oz. packages frozen ravioli of your choice (do not defrost)
2. In a large, deep skillet or Dutch oven, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring a few times, until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute more; don’t allow it to burn.
Add the pasta sauce, wine, and tomato sauce. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat to a simmer, and cook, stirring occasionally for 3-5 minutes more. Taste the sauce. If desired, add the basil.
3. Pour 2 cups of the tomato sauce into the cooker. (My note: it is really tempting to just dump the ingredients up to this point directly in the crockpot, bypassing the seemingly unnecessary step of making the sauce. Don’t. Take a few extra minutes and make. the. sauce. You’ll thank me. Plus, it really is essential to the recipe.)
Add one package of the frozen ravioli, then sprinkle with half of the mozzarella and 2 tablespoons of the Parmesan.
Add 2 more cups of the sauce, the last package of ravioli, the remaining mozzarella, and 2 tablespoons of the Parmesan. Cover with the remaining tomato sauce.
4. Cover and cook on HIGH for 2.5 – 3.5 hours or LOW for 5-6 hours. The casserole is done when a ravioli from the center of the casserole is hot throughout. Sprinkle with the remaining 1/4 cup of Parmesan, cover, and let cook 10 minutes more.
Have I mentioned how much we loved this? I needed a dinner that didn’t take much effort on Sunday evening. We’d just come home from church and eaten lunch. The Girl and I needed to be out the door for Girl Scouts at 4:30 p.m. The Husband and The Boy would be watching football, and would be hungry by halftime. Yet, The Girl and I would need to eat when we returned home from Girl Scouts.
When I walked in the door, The Boy hollered, “That was AWESOME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!” The Husband heartily agreed. I helped myself to some, and then almost fell over when The Girl said she would try a “very small bite” of this. You have to understand: She is the Queen of Picky Eaters. She hates sauce of all kinds. To my knowledge, she may never have tried tomato sauce before Sunday evening. So, her willingness to take what amounts to several bites – and then to say she liked it – was HUGE.