I was not the first person to make this style recipe but being very fond of lasagna and not very fond of boiling the noodles I have adapted my own recipes to accommodate this short cut to excellent pasta cuisine.
I love pasta in general, especially with meat sauce but I have to admit I love lasagna more than any other style of pasta. Traditionally, to make a good lasagna you needed to spend hours of tedious preparation. I have tried making it by boiling the lasagna and I have tried the noodles that you don't have to precook.
To be honest, I'm lazy but love good food. So this is my adaptation of this wonderful dish using my own sauce and lasagna filling as a compliment to someone else's idea.
This recipe did not call for the additional layer of ricotta cheese with eggs and mozzarella but my oldest son, Bill, loved it made with the additional layer of cheese between the two ravioli layers. I'm dedicating this post to him since he is no longer here to enjoy it.
Ingredients for Sauce
- 3 lbs. ground meat
- large white onion, chopped fine
- large green pepper, chopped fine
- 1 teaspoon garlic, minced
- sprinkle to taste oregano and sweet basil
- sprinkle to tase salt and pepper
- 1/3 cup sugar
- 2 quarts prepared marinara sauce, I buy the store cheap brands
- Medium Container Ricotta Cheese
- 3 Eggs
- 8 oz. Mozzarella Cheese, shredded
- 2 bags Square Ravioli, Frozen
- 1 large can Diced Tomatoes, or your own diced
- Brown in large pan, garlic, ground meat, chopped onion and green pepper, oregano and basil, salt and pepper. Place ingredients into pan in that order. Brown into small bits and then drain grease in a colander and set aside.
- Dice the tomatoes and place into a cooking pot. Add the tomato paste and mix thoroughly. Add your filler marinara sauce and sprinkle with sugar. Simmer to mix the flavors and set aside.
- After you have poured the base sauce into your lasagna baking dish, add the ground meat mixture to the sauce and continue simmering.
Filling and Lasagna Prep
Combine in a bowl ricotta cheese, eggs and spinich (optional) and whisk until smooth. Set the cheese aside.
In a large lasagna pan, spread out a layer of the marinara sauce until the bottom of the pan is covered.
Open your frozen ravioli and lay out a single layer on top of the marinara sauce.
Spread the ricotta cheese mixture on top of the first layer of ravioli and spread to cover the entire layer. Sprinkle some of your meat mixture over the ricotta cheese mixture.
After this is complete you add the rest of the meat mixture to your marinara sauce and let it continue to simmer.
Sprinkle the shredded mozzarella cheese over the ricotta cheese and meat so that it evenly covers the entire dish.
Lay down another layer of the ravioli and then cover with the meat sauce.
Bake in a 325° oven for approximately 1 hour uncovered.
When you check this recipe as it is cooking, you will notice some water forming at the corners. This will cook off and will set up after it is taken out of the oven.
You need to let this dish set up after it is baked. If you cut it into pieces too soon the cheese will not be set up. I prefer to let this dish set for 15 minutes as a minimum but normally let it set for a half hour.