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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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

 

Stuffed Peppers

This is such a great dinner to fill the family, but it is also great to entertain with. You can make it ahead and bake before serving. This is a recipe from Lidia Bastianich. She is an Italian chef and has amazing simple recipes. I changed it a little, not because it needed it, but because my family eats a lot! And I simplified it a little, I think…

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Stuffed Peppers

Ingredients

  • 12 oz. bag Arborio Rice(you can use white long grain rice if that’s what you have)
  • 8 Cubanella or banana peppers(if you can’t find them you can use sweet bell peppers, but these taste so good)
  • 1 yellow onion chopped
  • about 2 pounds of meatloaf mix(I use ground chuck and pork)
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/3 cup of grated cheese
  • a big handful of Italian parsley
  • 2 tsp. of dried oregano
  • 28 oz. can of tomato sauce

Directions

You can do all the prep work ahead of time and bake when ready!

  1. Cook the rice in salted water for about 12 minutes.  Drain and set aside to cool.
  2. Cut the stems from the peppers and scrape out the seeds.  Wash and pat dry.
  3. Brush the outside of the peppers with olive oil and roast on 400 degrees for about 20 minutes, turning them over halfway through.
  4. In a medium skillet brown the meat over medium heat.  Drain and set aside.
  5. In the same skillet heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil.  Stir in the onion until wilted.  Scrape the onion in to a large bowl.
  6. Add the meat to the large bowl.
  7. Add as much rice as you prefer to the meat and onion.
  8. Add chopped parsley, oregano, egg and cheese.  Stir.
  9. Divide the filling among the peppers.  Place them in a baking dish.  You will have a lot extra of the meat and rice mixture.  Fill the extra space in the baking dish with the meat and rice.  I do this because my kids don’t eat the peppers, only the filling.
  10. Pour the tomato sauce over all the peppers and meat.  I use a lot, because we like it like that.  Use as much as you would like. 
  11. Cover the dish with foil and bake until it is hot and bubbly.  About 30-40 minutes.

Enjoy!

 

  

Call it what you want…

I love it!  No matter what you call it.  Sauce or gravy?  In my family we call red sauce, sauce.  We call brown sauce that goes over meat, gravy.  If I cook meat in the sauce all day and it’s really thick I consider it more like a gravy.

But no matter what, if you are cooking it, I’m happy.  And making it is so simple and healthy depending on what you pair it with.  This recipe is for a simple marinara sauce.  Sometimes I add onion, red wine, meat, roasted eggplant, etc…

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Marinara Sauce

Ingredients

  • EVOO
  • garlic (12 cloves chopped)
  • a pinch of crushed red pepper flakes
  • 3 cans of whole peeled tomatoes(Tuttorroso is great because the cans say non-BPA and non-GMO.  Most of the time I’ll try and get San Marzano whole peeled tomatoes or I’ll even use cans of crushed tomatoes and keep it simple!)
  • 1/4 teaspoon of crushed black pepper
  • 3 heaping spoonfuls of cheese
  • A handful of fresh chopped Italian parsley(or basil or both!)

Directions

  • In a large sauce pan saute garlic and crushed red pepper flakes in EVOO.  (You can add onion if you want.  That’s the great part about sauce.  It tastes delicious many ways. This is when everyone comes in the kitchen to see what I’m making.  Smells so good.)
  • Add 3 cans of whole peeled tomatoes.  Blend with an immersion blender (one of the greatest inventions ever!) to chop all the tomatoes. Keep it on a simmer so it doesn’t burn.
  • Add about the crushed black pepper.  (My mom adds salt, but uses less cheese.  I don’t add salt, but put in extra cheese!)
  • Stir in the grated cheese.  (My mom buys nothing other than Pecorino Romano.  I sway from that.  Sometimes I buy the blend or sometimes just Parmesan.  Always from the refrigerated section!!  That’s a must.  I don’t even think the cheese in the un-refrigerated section is even cheese.  A big thing to look out for is any grated or crumbled cheese with cellulose aka wood pulp in it.  Sometimes it’s hard to find cheese without it.  I don’t know much about cellulose, but I don’t want my family to eat it.  That’s for sure… Today they didn’t have grated cheese without cellulose, so I bought the block of cheese and grated it myself.)
  • Add the parsley/basil.

That is it!  Simmer for about 20 minutes.  Pair with your favorite pasta.  Tonight I added turkey meatballs to the sauce and served with whole grain linguine.  My picky eater Matthew likes healthier foods and this is his favorite meal!  I prefer regular meatballs, but I will get into that discussion another day.  Enjoy!

Other recipes you will love…

Meat Sauce

Ravioli with Crushed Tomato Sauce

Momma’s Meatballs