I have a confession to make…I haven’t run since my 5-mile accomplishment on Saturday. 😦 The problem with living in Virginia in the Winter is that its cold. Really cold. I know I’m a wimp to complain about 20* weather when so many of you live in places FAR colder but you have to understand that I grew up in Florida…this whole temperature getting below 50* in the Winter is still fairly new to me. Each day this week I have planned on running, and each day I have chickened out. Maybe its because the window in my office is so drafty that I have to wear my wool coat and scarf all day, and even then my poor little fingers are still icicles. Or maybe its because when I get home all I want to do is create a meal that will be so satisfying and hearty that I will be warmed from the inside out after consuming it, like last night’s Ravioli Lasagna and Brussels Sprout Spaghetti.
This idea came from Tina at Carrots & Cake, and originally from Real Simple magazine (I couldn’t find a recipe link). Lasagna noodles and ricotta are replaced with prepared ravioli pasta…I chose 365 Brand frozen 5 Cheese Ravioli.
The raviolis are layered with pasta sauce (also 365 Brand), frozen spinach (thawed, excess water squeezed out) and part-skim mozzarella. There are so many variations that could be played with. I was thinking about an amazing portobello ravioli that a local pasta shop creates and how good that would be layered with additional mushrooms, olives and capers…yum!
Were I to create the lasagna for a dinner party again I would probably use fresh ravioli in lieu of the frozen. This would make the cost of the dish significantly higher, which is why I would reserve it for special occasions only. The frozen raviolis were good, just chewier than fresh would have been. Even with frozen raviolis this dish is more expensive than a classic lasagna with noodles would be, but its a fun take on a classic favorite that I will surely make again.
Basic Ravioli Lasagna (I encourage you to try different variations…next time I will add more veggies)
- (3) 8oz packages of fresh or frozen ravioli
- (1) jar of pasta sauce
- (1) 10oz package of frozen spinach, thawed and squeezed to remove excess liquid)
- 1-1/2 cups shredded part-skim mozzarella
- Ladle 1/2 cup of sauce into bottom of 9×9 glass baking dish.
- Layer one package of ravioli on top of sauce.
- Top with 1/2 of spinach and 1/2 cup of mozzarella.
- Ladle 1/3 of remaining sauce over mozzarella.
- Repeat steps 2-4.
- Layer last package of ravioli on top of sauce.
- Ladle remaining 1/3 of sauce over ravioli and top with last 1/2 cup of mozzarella.
- Bake at 350* for about 20 minutes, until lasagna is bubbly and top layer of cheese is just starting to brown.
While the lasagna was baking I worked on a new brussels sprouts recipe. Our go-to method for cooking brussels has been to roast them, and I’m getting a little tired of it. We have them weekly, so I wanted to play around with different methods of preparing them. A friend of mine told me about a recipe he and his wife cook often, where you slice the brussels into 1/8″ pieces, essentially turning them into a slaw-like consistency. You then sauté them in butter, toss them with linguine and serve. I was intrigued, so we tried it.
Brussels Sprout Spaghetti
- lots of brussels…we probably had 20 medium-sized
- 1 shallot, minced
- 1 tbsp butter
- whole wheat pasta (I used spaghetti, but will use angel hair next time)
- juice from 1/2 a lemon
- parmesan cheese, shaved
- Boil the pasta until soft.
- Meanwhile, saute’ the brussels and shallot in 1/2 the butter until fragrant and beginning to brown.
- Drain the pasta and add to the brussels pan. Add the last 1/2 of butter and toss all together. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Serve with shaved parmesan on top.
This dish was delicious, although I will definitely reduce the amount of pasta used next time, and will probably substitute angel hair for the spaghetti noodles. The shaved parmesan really makes the dish, and I think it would be divine with bacon or pancetta added in.
The evening was delicious, warm and satisfying. But if I’m going to keep making dishes like this, I have to get over my fear of the cold and get back on the road for some runs! Here’s hoping the weather warms soon…