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I love ravioli! What’s not to love? Pasta filled with a mixture of cheeses, meat or seafood, seasonings and veggies, cooked and topped with a delicious sauce is something you can crave on a regular basis and I do. If the urge comes during a particularly busy week when time to cook is an issue, I have one way to satisfy the craving. High quality, store bought topped with the best-jarred sauce I can find. If I have a little more time, I’ll take those same ravioli and I might play with a quick sauce.

On weekends, I might like to get a little more creative and form my own ravioli out of wonton skins and stuff them with anything I happen to have in the fridge and top them with a quick butter sauce or a homemade marinara I have made and stored in the freezer. I’m flexible and since I like playing with my food, I have come up with some great combos. (Leftover chicken with sundried tomatoes and ricotta were pretty good!) And of course, when I have time and want to really dazzle the crowd, I turn my Kitchen Aid into a pasta maker and whip up my own pasta and then cut ravioli. I must admit that this is a favorite way to spend a winter afternoon. I have fond memories of making ravioli with a landlord in New York. Lou was old school Italian and taught me how to make pasta, roll it and stuff it with his own ricotta mixture. The fun part came when we needed to put them somewhere to dry. (I was in a very tiny apartment back then.) He whipped out a new flat sheet, threw it on my bed and dusted it with flour. Before you knew it, we had a “bed of ravioli” all laid out in neat rows and ready to be cooked. I laughed a lot that day and they were the best ravioli I’ve ever had. I still make pasta the same way and always think of Lou who is gone now but forever in my heart.

The key to satisfying a ravioli attack is to be prepared! (I sound like the Girl Scout I once was.) Having a few things in the fridge, freezer and pantry can get a satisfying ravioli dinner on the table in a flash. So, here are my four ways to get a ravioli fix. Feel free to mix and match depending on your mood, use store bought or homemade and just have fun. Have you ever met anyone that doesn’t like it? Just promise me, you won’t open a can of ravioli. That just can’t be called “good”!!!

FOUR WAYS TO RAVIOLI:

  • Heat & Serve Ravioli with store bought products. See my favorite choices that I keep on hand all the time.
  • Store bought Ravioli with a quick homemade sauce. I really like Trader Joe’s fresh ravioli choices and usually have several in my fridge and freezer. Buitoni and Rana make good options too and they can both be found in the grocery store. Whipping up a quick butter sauce or marinara only takes minutes. You can get my go to recipe for Lobster Ravioli with Lemon Butter Sauce here.
  • When I’m not up to making my own pasta, using wonton skins is a great option. They hold well in the refrigerator and you can turn almost anything into a filling. I’ll top with another quick sauce and I’ve got a homemade meal in about one hour. Try my Wonton Cheese & Spinach Ravioli with marinara sauce or the Homemade Wonton Crab Ravioli recipe here.
  • If you want to go for the 100% made from scratch stuff that dreams are made of, then you just have to make your own pasta dough, filling and sauce. I like to call it an “event” since it takes time. But it is time well spent and your family, friends and guests will love it. See my recipes for Homemade Ravioli, Pee Wee’s Sauce and garlic bread to create a meal your friends won’t soon forget.

And there you have it, four ways to create a ravioli dinner that is fast, easy and delicious OR slow, scrumptious and all your own! Be sure to round out your meal with a big salad and a bottle of red wine! Buon appetito

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