About Baked Italian Sausage Ravioli
By now you guys must know how much I love RAGÚ® Homestyle sauce (and if you didn’t already know, seriously, check out those links!) and today marks another delicious chapter in my ever-growing love for their sauces.
And, you guys, not to brag or anything (well, okay, maybe just a little) but I think I may have outdone myself with this recipe.
Because, yes, it was that good.
I loved everything about this recipe – from the flavorful RAGÚ sauce (I used Thick & Hearty Roasted Garlic this time around) to the ultra-cheese topping to the tasty Italian sausage – and it all came together into the kind of dinner that an old friend of mine and I devoured in only one sitting.
The only “downside” to this recipe?
Technically, it wasn’t my idea to make it.
I’ve talked a lot in the past about how an old friend of mine and I have “different” tastes in food… if you can even call it “different.” What it really boils down to is that he likes a lot of savory meats in his diet while I, well, don’t. Seafood is probably the only meat I could happily eat on a daily basis. And if I ever do delve into the world of pork and beef, I like it by itself, not mixed up with a bunch of other ingredients. I guess you could say I’m more of a “meat purist.”
To better explain, this is the most common scenario at our house around dinner time:
I made a dish that I’m really happy with.
I let him try it and ask him what he thinks.
He responds: “I like it, but it would taste better with meat.”
I’m just waiting for the day when he says this about a brownie or a cake.
So when I was brainstorming for this recipe, I did something I almost never do: I asked him what he wanted me to make.
What wasn’t I making that he wanted to see? Was it a kind of pasta? Or a specific type of meat?
Eventually we settled on Italian sausage and ravioli, since even I couldn’t remember the last time I had used either of those in a dish. The original idea was to make homemade sausage ravioli, and though I loved that idea, I really wanted something a little bit easier to put together. We’re still knee-deep in summer and didn’t want to stand around in my hot kitchen for hours just to make dinner.
As an alternative, I opted to cook the Italian sausage in the RAGÚ Thick & Hearty Roasted Garlic sauce, and it ended up being the perfect compromise. We still got all the benefits of a meaty meal without slaving in the kitchen. Score!
When we were almost done with brainstorming, an old friend of mine’s face grew serious, and he proceeded to tell me (with hand gestures!) that he was envisioning a picture of a small baking dish full of our soon-to-be baked dinner, and that there would be a fork dipping in and pulling up a cheese-covered ravioli. He stressed to me that this should be a picture I took when photographing this dish.
Would you like to make this dish at home? Be sure to pick up any of RAGÚ® Homestyle sauce!
Baked Italian Sausage Ravioli
In a skillet over medium-high heat, cook and crumble Italian sausage with green bell pepper and onion until sausage is cooked through, about 5-7 minutes. Drain grease.
Add Ragu Homestyle Thick & Hearty Roasted Garlic pasta sauce and chopped Italian plum tomatoes to skillet, then stir. Reduce heat and let sauce simmer for 30 minutes.
Prepare ravioli per package instructions, then drain and set aside.
In a medium bowl, use your hands to knead together 1 cup mozzarella and the mascarpone cheese, then break cheese mixture into crumbles with your fingers. Set aside.
When sauce is ready, add ravioli to pan and stir to coat. Pour ravioli into your prepared baking dish(es), then cover the top with an even layer of the cheese crumbles. Finish by sprinkling the remaining 1/2 mozzarella cheese on top.
Bake Italian sausage ravioli for 15-20 minutes or until the cheese on top has completely melted.
Serve immediately with parsley as garnish.