The month of September brings up a lot of different emotions for everybody.
The nervous excitement for back to school season, the relief of getting back into routines, the anticipation of the return of Scandal and Grey’s Anatomy.
For me, September signals casserole season. Dishes of hot and comforting baked pastas are not the type of meals I usually cook in the summer months. But come fall and yes, winter (said in a whisper), I start hankering for these comforting meals.
But it’s not just that comfort food quality that draws me too them. They are mostly make ahead, freezable, and serve a crowd. All things that are important in the busy month of September. And this ravioli lasagna is all of these things, and more.
Now, I wouldn’t necessary classify the traditional lasagna as “quick” or “easy.” Layers upon layers of sauce, cheese, meat, and perhaps if you are getting a little fancy, a béchamel sauce. While delicious and comforting, it can be quite labour intensive. And here on How To Eat, we aim to give you recipe and meal ideas that fall more into the “30 minute meal” category.
By using these fresh ricotta filled ravioli, you eliminate two things:
- The need for any pre-cooking of the pasta
- The need for a creamy ricotta filling or béchamel sauce.
But have no fear – you won’t miss any of that cheesy goodness. We’ve loaded this dish up with tons of smokey mozzarella and grated parmesan cheese. We loved the meaty flavour the smoked cheese adds. But if that’s not your thing, any old regular mozzarella would do just fine. We’ve also used our go-to 4 ingredient tomato sauce that we’ve previously featured in our eggplant parm and baked gnocchi casserole. You could definitely substitute a store bought sauce to save a bit more time, but trust us when we say you should definitely try this magical red sauce at least once in your lifetime.
This casserole feeds a crowd as is, but you could also double it for a dinner party or freeze half for a crazy busy Thursday. It’s also #kidapproved – so get those school lunch boxes ready!
While I may be lamenting the end of the summer season, I am kinda excited to begin casserole time. Bring on all that baked cheesy goodness!