Cooking With Ease

Frozen ravioli can be used in a variety of recipes. It is such a versatile ingredient, it can simply be boiled and topped with melted butter or olive oil and grated parmesan — or it can be incorporated into casseroles for a hearty meal, or mixed with vegetables for a lighter meal. They can also be used like dumplings in a soup.

There is a variety of frozen raviolis on the market, so you have your choice from three cheese to spinach to cheese and truffle. Try a variety of them to find your favorite.

SIMPLE RAVIOLI BAKE

Ingredients:

One 25- to 27-ounce package frozen ravioli, your choice

One 25.5-ounce jar pasta sauce, use your favorite

2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese

4 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese

— Heat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Apply cooking spray to bottom and sides of 13 inch by 9 inch baking dish.

— Spread three-fourths cup of the pasta sauce in baking dish. Arrange half of the frozen ravioli in single layer over sauce. Top with half of the remaining pasta sauce and 1 cup of the mozzarella cheese. Repeat layers once, starting with ravioli. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.

— Cover with foil and bake 40 minutes. Remove foil and bake 15 to 20 minutes until cheese is melted, bubbly and hot in center. Let stand 10 minutes before serving.

I serve with garlic bread.

RAVIOLI WITH VEGETABLES

Ingredients:

One 9-ounce package refrigerated ravioli, your choice

1 tablespoon olive oil

2 cups fresh green beans, trimmed and cut into 2-inch pieces

One small onion, cut into thin wedges

One-half teaspoon vegetable bouillon sauce or cube

1.5 teaspoons chopped fresh marjoram leaves (if you can’t find marjoram, you can use thyme or oregano)

One-quarter teaspoon garlic powder

Pepper to taste

One-half cup water

1 cup chopped seeded Roma tomatoes

One-half cup frozen sweet peas

3 tablespoons shredded Parmesan cheese

— Cook and drain ravioli as directed on package. Cover to keep warm.

— In large skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat until hot. Add green beans and onion. Cook and stir three minutes. Add bouillon, marjoram, garlic powder, pepper and water and cook three to five minutes longer or until beans are crisp-tender.

— Add tomatoes, peas and cooked ravioli. Reduce heat to medium-low. Cook three to five minutes, stirring occasionally, until mixture is thoroughly heated and sauce is slightly thickened. Sprinkle with cheese.

I serve with a simple side salad.

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