Cheese and tomato baked ravioli
Easy peasy cheese and tomato baked ravioli. Use pre-made, shop-bought ravioli and transform them into a delectable, comforting dinner in minutes.
Listen, today’s post is a bit of a cheat. Ok fine. A really big cheat. Because other than making the tomato sauce (and in a pinch, you can even outsource that), there is very little effort required on your part.
The idea for this recipe came to me last week when I was browsing the aisles of my local supermarket, looking for inspiration for dinner. I was in the mood for cheese and pasta (what else is new?) but didn’t want to faff for too long. That’s when I spotted the ready-made ravioli. I am not the type of person to buy ready-made filled pasta because a) I find them to be a little expensive and b) they’re just not my cup of tea but I threw a few packets into my trolley and decided to play with them. Now let me first say, this recipe only works with shop-made ravioli. Please don’t use your delicate, beautifully fresh, handmade ravioli for this. It would be a complete waste. Just like my baked gnocchi with bacon and tomato, this recipe works because of the firmness of shop-bought, ready-made ravioli (or in that case, gnocchi).
Where ready-made ravioli simply cooked and dressed in sauce can often be tough and a little unpleasant in texture, baking them in a rich tomato sauce with layers of melty mozzarella results in an incredibly moreish dinner. Their robust texture (read: toughness) actually works beautifully when baked. It almost begs for it. The tomato sauce I baked the ravioli in was a simple 10 minute sauce I made with cherry tomatoes, red onion and a good splash of Balsamic vinegar. This was layered with the blanched pasta and sliced mozzarella and then baked until bubbling and golden. From prep to plate in no more than 30 minutes (if you work fast, even less). Ooey, gooey cheesy pasta for dinner? Yes please!
- 1 red onion, finely chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, crushed
- 2 cups cherry tomatoes, quartered
- ½ cup water/stock
- 1 tablespoon Balsamic vinegar
- 1 teaspoon sugar (optional)
- salt & pepper to taste
- 500g ready-made, shop-bought ravioli (I used a butternut-filled ravioli)
- 150g mozzarella, thinly sliced
- fresh basil leaves, for garnish
- Pre-heat the oven to 200°c
- To make the sauce, fry the onion and garlic in a splash of olive oil until soft and translucent then add the tomatoes, stock, Balsamic and sugar.
- Bring the sauce to a simmer then reduce the heat and allow to simmer for 10 minutes until reduced and thickened slightly. Season to taste.
- In the meantime, blanche the ravioli in plenty of salted water for a minute then drain and set aside.
- To assemble the bake, layer the blanched ravioli with the tomato sauce and sliced mozzarella.
- Place in the oven and bake for 10-15 minutes until golden and bubbling.
- Remove from the oven once baked and allow to cool for 5 minutes.
- Garnish with fresh basil and serve.