Ravioli Lasagna

This recipe takes a bit of work to put together, but it is a fun twist on classic lasagna.  It’s definitely worth the extra effort.  What I love about cooking, as opposed to baking, is that it lends itself to experimentation.  I don’t have an “exact” recipe for this, more of a method, but you can’t really screw it up.  This is a good recipe to batch cook as you can freeze it before baking, pull it out of the freezer when you need it, and have a nice home cooked meal fairly quicky.  Pair with a salad and a nice loaf of crusty bread.

Method:

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees and grease the bottom and sides of a 9×9 baking dish (I have a nice deep one that I use so I can add an extra layer).

Start by browning your ground beef, breaking it up to crumbles as it browns.  I use a regular sized package of use lean or extra lean beef.

Spread a thin layer of tomato sauce of your choice (if I don’t have homemade, I usually choose Classico Sauce in Sweet Basil or Spicy Red Pepper, depending on who will be eating the meal) on the bottom of your baking dish.

Put a layer of ravioli on top of the sauce, as close together as you can get them (a 9×9 dish holds 9 raviolis perfectly).  I like to buy the fresh packaged ravioli you can get at the grocery store, but frozen would work too.

Finish browning your meat and drain off excess fat.

Add the remaining tomato sauce to the meat.

To the meat and sauce mixture, add a 500g container of ricotta cheese.

Stir to combine.

Spread a thin layer of meat/sauce/ricotta mixture over top of the ravioli layer.

Top with shredded mozzarella cheese.

Put down another layer of ravioli on top of the cheese.  To change things up, I bought different types of ravioli and made each layer different (i.e., regular cheese ravioli, spinach and ricotta ravioli).

Keep layering (ravioli, meat/sauce/cheese mixture, shredded cheese) until you get close to the top of your pan.  On your last ravioli layer, top with straight tomato sauce.

And then more shredded cheese (there is no such thing as too much cheese!).

Bake in the over at 400 degrees for 45-60 minutes (longer if cooking from frozen) until the cheese on top starts to brown.

Slice and serve!  The first piece will come out sloppy…this is the second piece!

Look at all those tasty layers!

Seriously easy, and it looks like you slaved away all day!  Enjoy this new family favourite with a salad and a nice loaf of crusty Italian bread!

 

 

Grocery List:

1 package lean (or extra lean) ground beef

2 jars tomato sauce (you probably won’t use all of both jars)

2 or 3 packages of fresh ravioli (in any flavor you like)

1 500g container of Ricotta cheese

Mozzarella for shredding

 

 

The Best Peanut Butter Cookies

There is absolutely nothing more delicious than fresh baked peanut butter cookies.  I like them moist and chewy and it has taken me a long time to perfect a recipe that has this perfect combination.  These cookies are especially tasty dunked in a glass of cold milk.  You life might be forever changed by these cookie, I know the cookie monsters in my house can’t get enough of them!  Enjoy!

Start by putting your softened butter into the bowl.

Add peanut butter to the butter.

Add your sugars and egg.

Cream all ingredients together until smooth.

Add in flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt (in theory you should mix the dry ingredients together in a separate bowl and then slowly add that mixture to your wet mixture.  I never do this, and I don’t find that it makes too much of a difference).

Beat mixture together until uniform.

Using a spoon, portion out your dough into rounds.

Roll each dough ball into granulated sugar.

Place rolled cookies onto a parchment lined cookie sheet.

Bake at 350 degrees for 10-12 minutes.  Remove promptly from over.  You don’t want to over bake these.  They may look slightly under cooked in the middle, but will firm up as they cool.

Transfer cookies to wire cooling racks.  Let cool (my family snaps them up warm and they are amazing either way) and store in an airtight container.

They’re delicious served with a cold glass of milk!


Yummy!

Ingredients:

  • 1 ¼ cup all-purpose flour
  • ¾ tsp. baking soda
  • ½ tsp. baking powder
  • ¼ tsp. salt
  • ½ cup butter, softened
  • 1 cup creamy peanut butter (you could use crunchy if you wanted)
  • ¾ cup sugar + more for rolling cookies
  • ½ cup firmly packed brown sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tbsp. milk
  • 1 tsp. Vanilla

Method:

Preheat oven to 350. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper (the parchment paper is key for the perfect chewy cookie).

In a mixing bowl, stir together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.

In a bowl, beat the butter and peanut butter together, with a mixer, until smooth and fluffy. Add the sugars until combined, then incorporate the egg, followed by the milk and vanilla. Gradually add in the flour mixture and beat until thoroughly combined.

In a small bowl, put a few tablespoons of sugar for rolling your cookies. Using a spoon, portion out your dough and roll each ball into the sugar until coated on all sides. Place on baking sheet, allowing room for the cookies to spread out while baking.

Bake for 10-12 minutes, being careful not to overbake. The cookies will look slightly underdone in the center, that means they will be perfect as they harden up as they set.
Makes about 2 dozen cookies