Knowing that I no longer have to worry about a supply of new, tested recipes to share with you, I've gotten quite lazy with my meal planning. Of course I remain obsessive about looking for – and printing out – recipes that sound good but I'm no longer in a rush to test them. However if you could but see the piles and piles of recipes that I continue to collect, you'd think for certain that I'd have enough recipes to keep me going for several more years. However, that isn't going to happen because the time that elapses now between my printing out a recipe and my testing it grows longer … and longer … and longer.
With this column I want to introduce you to a new "favorite" recipe of Spicer's – Baked Ravioli. Panic not. This is a "bring the ingredients home from the store and throw it together" recipe. No long hours of prep work are involved. I used a 13-ounce bag of frozen Celentano mini-cheese ravioli and locating them in the supermarket was the hardest part of this recipe. The recipe that I found on the Internet didn't give the size bag of ravioli to buy and after I made it, I found another recipe that called for 26 ounces of frozen ravioli but the same amount of marinara sauce and the same amount of cheese. Decide for yourself.
One day when we both agreed that we didn't have the appetite for a heavy supper, I prepared Impossibly Easy Quesadilla Pie and we enjoyed this with a fresh fruit salad for our evening meal. Spicer suggested that this would be excellent for breakfast, too. This recipe comes from www.bettycrocker.com/recipes.
Having found success with these two quick recipes I am now on the lookout for fresh cheese tortellini so that I can try Baked Tortellini Casserole, a recipe that I found on the Internet at www.number-2-pencil.com. You'll note that his recipe calls for freshly grated mozzarella cheese and I have to agree that I find the mozzarella to be much more flavorful when I grate it myself.
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1 pound lean ground beef
1 (26-ounce) jar marinara sauce
1 or 2 (13-ounce) bags frozen cheese ravioli (see note in text)
2 cups (8-ounces) freshly grated Mozzarella cheese
Grated Parmesan cheese
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Lightly grease a shallow 2-quart baking dish and set aside. Brown ground beef and drain off any grease. Combine browned ground beef and marinara sauce. Spread 3/4 cup of the meat sauce over the bottom of the prepared baking dish. Arrange half of the frozen ravioli in single layer over sauce; top with half of the remaining sauce and 1 cup of the Mozzarella cheese. Repeat layers once, starting with ravioli. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese. Cover with aluminum foil and bake for 30 minutes. Remove foil; return to oven and bake uncovered for 10 to 15 minutes until bubbly and hot in the center. Let stand 10 minutes before serving. Serves 6 if you use 26 ounces of ravioli.
Page 2 of 2 - IMPOSSIBLY EASY QUESADILLA PIE
1 (4.5-ounce) can chopped green ehiles, well drained
2 cups shredded sharp Cheddar cheese
1/4 teaspoon dried cilantro, crushed
3/4 cup Original Bisquick mix
1 1/2 cups milk
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Lightly grease a 9-inch pie plate. Sprinkle chilies, cheese and cilantro in pie plate. Whisk remaining ingredients together until well-blended. Carefully pour over ingredients in pie plate. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean. It is important that you let this sit for 5 to 10 minutes before you cut into it. Serves 4 to 6.
BAKED TORTELLINI CASSEROLE
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 small yellow onion, diced
2 garlic cloves, minced (optional)
1 pound lean (97/3) ground beef
1/2 to 1 teaspoon salt
Freshly ground black pepper to taste
1 (28-ounce) can crushed tomatoes
1 (8-ounce) can tomato sauce
1 (24-ounce) package fresh refrigerated cheese tortellini
3 cups freshly grated Mozzarella cheese
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease and set aside a 3-quart baking dish. Sauté onion and garlic in olive oil until soft. Add ground beef; season with salt and pepper and brown. Stir in tomatoes and tomato sauce. Stir in uncooked, fresh tortellini and 1 1/2 cups of the Mozzarella cheese. Transfer to prepared baking dish and evenly sprinkle remaining cheese over the top. Cover tightly with foil and bake for 30 minutes until hot and bubbly.