First, I’d like to begin by saying “you’re welcome.” I know that each and every one of you is excited about this recipe. I mean, who wouldn’t be? It’s like eating a big old plate of “heart and soul.” I tend to shy away from casseroles in the summertime. It’s the higher temperatures of course, that keep me from turning on my oven. Casseroles tend to be heavier and more robust, and when it’s too warm to even move, the last thing you want is a big old plate of saucy, cheesy pasta. Well, guess what…Summer is over! Officially! Woo! I’m celebrating by sharing one of my new go-to casserole dishes. In less than an hour, this baked ravioli with vodka sauce is on the table ANNNNDD with extra sauce to spare, you will be eating this stuff all fall/winter long!
What I love most about this recipe is the sauce. I’m a sucker for a good vodka sauce, and it took me a long time to actually make it myself. I was that “buy it in jar form” type of person. It’s actually quite easy to make though! It’s basically your standard tomato sauce, but with vodka and cream added into the mix.
Let it be know that this is the ONLY way I will ever consume vodka.
The two of us are not friends.
Never have been…never will be. Just have a conversation with my stomach … head … body … mind … soul. They’ll tell you what’s up.
Feel free to make your own ravioli if you are feeling extra ambitious. Zach and I do it once in a while, but it is a lot of work. Ravioli is one of the few times that I think it’s ok to buy something frozen, when you can just make it yourself. I mean when you make it yourself, you usually freeze the leftover ravioli anyway, right? There are a lot of great brands out there. Pick up whatever looks best to you!
Beer: Evil Twin Brewing’s Freudian Slip
Brewed By: Evil Twin Brewing
Style: American Barleywine
Description: My absolute favorite thing about Evil Twin (besides their beer of course) is their naming of beers. I think they have the most clever of all beer names, and I just love it. This beer is one of my favorite barleywines, and as the temperatures start to lower, I start to crave them even more. With a lot of great malty, sweet and caramely notes, this beer is not for the shy, and normally pairs very well with sweets. I like it for hearty pasta dishes as this though. I like barleywines with pasta in general. Maybe it’s because of their wine-like characteristics, and I love a glass of vino with my pasta. This barleywine is bold and a quite a bit high in abv, so be careful and share the bottle!
Happy Tuesday! Enjoy the day!
For the Vodka Sauce
- 1/4 cup unsalted butter
- 1 medium-sized yellow onion diced
- 5 cloves of garlic minced
- 1 1/2 cups vodka
- 2-28 ounce cans of crushed tomatoes
- salt and black pepper
- 1 teaspoon granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon dry oregano
- 1 teaspoon dry thyme
- 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
- 3/4 cup heavy cream
- 1 tablespoon fresh basil chopped
- 1 tablespoon fresh parsley chopped
For the Baked Ravioli
- 1 20- ounce bag frozen cheese ravioli boiled per manufacturer's instructions
- 1 cup grated mozzarella cheese
- 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
- parsley chopped, for garnish
- In a dutch oven, melt the butter over medium-high heat. Add the yellow onion and cook until tender, about 6-7 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for an additional minute. Add the vodka, and cook until reduced by half, approximately 7-8 minutes. Add the crushed tomatoes (juice and all). Bring to a boil and then reduce to a simmer. Add salt and pepper, granulated sugar, oregano, thyme and crushed red pepper. Cover and simmer for 20 minutes.
- In batches, transfer the sauce to a blender or food processor. Puree until smooth. Be careful, as the sauce is very hot. Cover the blender with a towel and hold as you blend. Transfer the sauce back to the dutch oven, and heat over medium-low heat. Add the heavy cream, basil and parsley. Stir to combine. Continue to cook for 5 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.
- Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F and spray an 9x13in baking dish with a non-stick spray. Layer the cooked ravioli on the bottom of the dish. Top with 2 1/2 cups of the vodka sauce and sprinkle with mozzarella and parmesan cheese. Freeze or refrigerate the remainder of your vodka sauce.
- Bake the ravioli for 8-10 minutes or until the top is bubbly and melted.
- Remove from the oven and garnish with parsley. Serve immediately and enjoy!
Baked Ravioli recipe adapted from Damn Delicious