Ravioli with Crushed Tomato Sauce

When I think of Valentine’s Day dinner, I think of a simple, comforting meal at home with my family. Ravioli with Crushed Tomato Sauce may not look simple, but it is! And it’s so quick that it allows me to spend more time with my family instead of time in the kitchen. And nothing shows love better than Ravioli with a red Crushed Tomato Sauce. Right?

The only ravioli my mom ever bought when we were growing up was Pastosa. They were so delicious. We used to eat them raw out of the box! I can get them(frozen) at The Boys near me, but if I don’t feel like taking a ride there, I can pick up Mimi’s Ravioli at Western Beef. They are also very tasty.

 

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Go ahead and make your dinner at home look fancy. A beautiful lace tablecloth and a vase of fresh flowers is all you need.

If you are in the market for new wine glasses these are the perfect stemless wine glasses.

I love my square white plates that I have, but these dinner size ones are perfect for a bright dinner like this.  I love how a white plate always makes the food look that much better…

Better Homes and Gardens Square Porcelain Dinner Plates, White, Set of 6

RAVIOLI WITH CRUSHED TOMATO SAUCE

Ingredients

  • 2 pounds of Ravioli(Pastosa, Mimi’s or similar)
  • 2-28 oz. cans of crushed tomatoes
  • 8 cloves of garlic, sliced
  • crushed red pepper flakes
  • salt and pepper
  • EVOO
  • Grated Pecorino Romano cheese

Directions

  1. In a large saute pan heat about 2 tablespoons of olive oil over medium heat.
  2. Add a pinch of crushed red pepper flakes and garlic.
  3. Once garlic is light golden, add both cans of crushed tomatoes (When I pour the tomatoes in the pan there is usually some leftover tomatoes in the can. Fill both cans 1/3 of the way with water and swish it around to get all the leftover tomatoes.  Add that to the pan as well.)  
  4. Lower the heat to low so it doesn’t splatter.
  5. Add 2 pinches of salt and fresh ground black pepper.
  6. Stir and let simmer for 10-15 minutes.
  7. Meanwhile, boil a large pot of salted water.
  8. Cook the ravioli per directions on the box.
  9. Drain the ravioli and top with the crushed tomato sauce.
  10. Sprinkle with grated cheese and enjoy!

If you enjoyed this recipe, you will also like:

Lasagna Rolls

Momma’s Meatballs

Call it what you want…

Meat Sauce

 

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Game Day

If you ask me whose playing in the Superbowl, I promise you I will NOT know the answer. My husband says he stopped watching football once he started dating me. And that’s pretty accurate. No one in my family ever watched sports, so that is that. Lol. He can totally watch it, but my main focus will always be the food and the halftime show! But now that we have 2 boys, he has made a point to start watching it again. I’m ok with that, as long as there is some good food, not just a bowl of Doritos!

So if you are planning on watching the game and are having friends over, here are some of my favorite game day foods that will keep everyone happy, whether they watch the game or not… Feel free to pick and choose your favorites and throw in some classics like chicken wings and chili!

  • You have to start with chips and dip! People come hungry on game day and love to pick. These are two of my favorite dips that will start the day off in the right direction.

Guacamole and Salsa: This combo is always a hit and goes quick on days like this, so make double batches!

If you were asked to bring a dish to a friend’s house, this Shoepeg Corn Salad is amazing! Make ahead and bring a big bag of Tostitos. It will be the star of the game.

 

  • I like to serve pizza as an appetizer. I highly recommend you keep the toppings simple and use a pizza slicer to slice them into small, handheld slices. For some reason everything tastes better when it’s bite size.
  • Stuffed Bread is a great option for game day. It’s a hearty meal for big eaters.
  • And who doesn’t love a big platter of meatballs? I would make them small enough so that you can serve them with toothpicks and your friends can just pop them in their mouth!

If your’e crowd isn’t full after all this food, you may have a problem. But I think everyone should be full and happy.

I know most people want beer on Game Day, but if I was at a Super Bowl party after hours of drinking and eating I’d be looking for strong coffee and a sweet treat! Hello, Annie’s Crumb Cake… It’s simple, delicious and will feed your crowd.

Go Mets! JK, but not kidding…

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If you like this blog, you will also like:

Soup Season

Can’t Have a Party Without a Punch

“Crowd Pleasing” Rice Pudding

 

 

 

 

 

 

Soup Season

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I just came back from a weekend in Long Island and was quickly reminded that it is soup season! I had so much fun with all the girls and of course my adorable nephew, but I was freezing. My Florida blood couldn’t handle the cold. I make soup all year long due to the fact that it is usually easy and healthy. Some soups are heartier than others. If a soup I make is not filling enough for my hungry family, I will make a salad and some garlic bread before. Here is a list of FIVE of my favorites that I put on rotation all year long, not just this time of year!

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wala

soup

spin tort 1

Honestly, if you are a soup maker like me you need a slow cooker and a dutch oven.

This set includes the Rockcrok®Slow Cooker Stand and Dutch Oven! You will have everything you need to make soup in one set.

I love a white bowl for soup. These bowls are simple in white with a chic square edge design. Set of 8/$24.99

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Click here to shop some of my favorite items.

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Sausage and Peppers

This is one of those meals that I make if I need to feed a lot of hungry people. You can make it all ahead and then just heat and serve. It’s filling and delicious. I either serve it with a big loaf of Italian bread OR I add potatoes to the recipe. This time I added potatoes and it was yummy! I like to use good quality pork sausages or chicken sausages.

If you are looking to keep it light for the new year, use chicken sausages and no bread. You can even add mushrooms to get more veggies in.

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There are a few items you will need to help you prepare this delicious family meal:

Kitchen Shears

Large Sheet Pan

Sausage and Peppers

Ingredients

 

  • 3 rings of Italian sausages or 2 packages. (You can get mild, sweet, or spicy.)
  • 6-8 peppers, seeded and sliced (I use mostly cubanelle peppers and then add a couple of red bell)
  • 1 bag of small potatoes, sliced or quartered
  • 1 large onion, sliced
  • 2 garlic cloves minced or sliced
  • olive oil
  • salt and pepper
  • Dried oregano
  • Optional:  14.5 oz  can of tomato sauce

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees
  2. Unfold sausage rings and cut with kitchen scissors to pieces about the size of a hot dog.
  3. Place on a large baking sheet and bake for about 20 minutes turning halfway. Set to the side until vegetables are done.  (The sausages should be brown, but not too overdone because you will be cooking them again. You can also throw them on the grill and they would be even better!)
  4. Place the peppers, potatoes, onion and garlic in a separate baking sheet.
  5. Drizzle with olive oil. Sprinkle with salt, pepper and oregano. Toss to coat evenly.
  6. Bake for about 20 minutes turning a couple of times so everything gets cooked evenly.
  7. Add the sausages to the baking sheet with the vegetables. If using the tomato sauce, pour the can of sauce on top and mix it all together so everything is coated.
  8. At this point you can put the whole tray in the fridge until about a half hour before you are ready to eat. When you are ready, put it back in the oven until hot-about 20 minutes.

Enjoy!    

If you enjoyed this recipe, you’ll also like:

Smashed Potatoes

Grilled Skirt Steak

Stuffed Bread

 

Lasagna Rolls

Lasagna is the perfect dish for any holiday. My mom makes the absolute best lasagna. She made it for every holiday. We all loved it and would enjoy it for weeks later. She’d have leftovers and then a whole tray in the freezer for another night. It is the ultimate comfort meal.

I love lasagna, but I’m not a big fan of making it. It always looks a little messy when I make it. I would prefer to make a tray of stuffed shells, baked ziti or lasagna rolls! It looks better and I like that it has less ricotta cheese.

I love spinach in my lasagna rolls because I love veggies. If I put spinach, I don’t serve meat with it. If I leave the spinach out, I serve it with a side of meatballs or meat sauce. Either way lasagna rolls are delicious and comforting and presents beautifully.

Of course double the recipe for a bigger crowd or to put one tray in the freezer for a later date.

A basic marinara sauce should be made first. You can find the recipe here. 👇🏼

Marinara Sauce

If you decide to leave the spinach out and do meat sauce, you can find the recipe here👇🏼

Meat Sauce 

or Meatballs!

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Lasagna Rolls

Ingredients

  • Marinara sauce
  • 10 oz package of frozen spinach(optional)
  • 1 box of lasagna noodles
  • 32 oz container of ricotta cheese
  • 2/3 cup of grated pecorino romano cheese
  • 1 egg
  • Salt and pepper

Directions

  1. Pre-heat oven to 350.
  2. Boil a large pot of salted water and cook noodles per directions on box. Drain and set aside to dry.
  3. Put about 1 cup of sauce in the bottom of a baking dish.
  4. In a mixing bowl combine the spinach, ricotta, pecorino, and egg.
  5. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  6. Lay the noodles out flat and spread about 2 tablespoons of the ricotta mixture evenly on the noodle.
  7. Roll and place seam side down in baking dish.
  8. Cover with sauce and sprinkle with with some more pecorino Romano cheese.
  9. Cover tightly with foil.
  10. Bake for 45 minutes or until bubbly.

Enjoy!

Other pasta dishes that are perfect to feed a crowd…

Baked Ziti with Sausage

Rigatoni with Roasted Eggplant and Ricotta

Ravioli with Crushed Tomato Sauce

Orecchiette with Sausage, Mushrooms, and Tomatoes

 

Baked Ziti with Sausage

This recipe is all about me! 😊 When I’m having a “hungry” day and want to eat a comforting meal, this is what I make. It feels like a holiday meal, but I make this all throughout the year. There is usually enough leftover for dinner another night. Don’t let the name fool you. It is not your typical baked ziti with tons of ricotta cheese(not that there’s anything wrong with that!) It’s a vodka sauce, but light. Not too creamy and heavy. Just perfect.

Adapted from Martha Stewart

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Baked Ziti with Sausage

Ingredients

  • salt and pepper
  • 1 tablespoon of olive oil
  • 3/4 of a red onion, diced small
  • 4 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup of vodka
  • 2 cans(28 oz. each) of crushed tomatoes
  • 1/2 teaspoon of dried oregano
  • 1/2 cup of heavy cream(you can use half and half to keep it lighter)
  • 1 pound of pasta(I always use Ziti Rigati with the lines to catch the sauce)
  • 10 ounces of baby spinach
  • 12 ounces of chicken sausages(I buy organic chicken and kale and it is yummy, but any Italian sausage will do)
  • 1/4 cup of grated Pecorino Romano

Directions

Sausages:

  1. Preheat oven to bake 425
  2. Bake sausages for about 20 minutes or until brown and cooked completely.
  3. Put aside for now.

Sauce:

  1. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat.
  2. Add the onion and cook about 5 minutes.
  3. Stir in the garlic and remove from the heat.
  4. Add the vodka, then return the skillet to the heat. Cook until almost evaporated. About 1 minute.
  5. Stir in the crushed tomatoes and oregano. Cook on low for about 10 minutes.
  6. Add the cream and cook another 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.

Pasta:

  1. Meanwhile bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.
  2. Cook pasta in the boiling water until al dente according to package.
  3. Add spinach and cook until just wilted.
  4. Drain and return pasta and spinach to the pot.

Combine:

  1. Slice the sausage in half and then cut into small pieces about 1/4 inch thick.
  2. Add about 1/2 of the tomato sauce, sausages, and grated cheese. Toss to coat.
  3. Season with salt and pepper and put all contents in a shallow baking dish. Depending on the size of the baking dish you may want to divide it into 2 separate baking dishes. This is great if you want to freeze one for another night or bring it to a friend’s house.

Bake:

  1. Top with a little more sauce and grated cheese.
  2. Bake until browned and edges are crisp, 20 to 30 minutes.

Enjoy!

I love pasta!  If you’re not feeling this dish here are several others that are delicious also!

Sunday Dinner

Orecchiette with Sausage, Mushrooms, and Tomatoes

Ravioli with Crushed Tomato Sauce

Bowties with Broccoli

 

 

Slow Cooker Split Pea Soup

I make this for me and my husband. It is so healthy and comforting and smells delicious when it’s slow cooking. It’s a perfect meal served with a loaf of crusty bread. This is a great opportunity to use the leftover ham from Thanksgiving. If I don’t use ham, I’ll add small potatoes instead. Either way, it tastes delicious. As it slow cooks all the little bits of ham fall off the bone.

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Click here to shop your favorite Pampered Chef Products.

Slow Cooker Split Pea Soup

Ingredients

  • 1 bag of dried green split peas, rinsed
  • 4 carrots peeled and chopped
  • 4 stalks of celery peeled and chopped
  • 1/2 of an onion chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • A handful of chopped Italian parsley
  •  1 bay leaf
  • 1 ham hock OR ham pieces diced OR 5 small potatoes diced
  • 4 cups of low sodium chicken broth
  • 2 cups of water
  • salt and pepper

Directions

  1. Place all the ingredients in your slow cooker in the order they are listed.
  2. Cook on high for 3 hours.
  3. Carefully remove and discard the bone. Stir.
  4. Place on high for one more hour.

Enjoy!

If you enjoyed this recipe, you”ll love…

Shhh.. it’s a secret

Slow Cooker Blizzard Soup