Weeknight Tomato Sauce & Raviolis

Don’t be fooled by the name of this sauce.  While it’s certainly possible to whip up during the week, it’s best when made ahead of time.  Refrigerate or freeze the sauce  and use it when you need it most.  Having this on hand makes weeknight dinners super fast while keeping all of the flavor you want.

Weeknight Marinara

(makes about 3 cups)

1 tbsp. olive oil
1/2 cup diced onion
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1 14.5 oz can of diced tomatoes
1 bay leaf
1/2 tsp majoram
1/2 tsp oregano
Glug of good, dry red wine, about 1/4 cup (optional)
1 tsp honey
1 1/4 cup water
2 tbsp tomato paste
Salt & Pepper to taste
Total Time: 30 – 45 minutes
Cleanup: 10 minutes

How to:

1. In a medium saucepan heat olive oil over medium-low heat.  Add onions and cook 3 minutes until softened.  Add garlic and cook another minute.

2. Add diced tomatoes, salt, pepper, marjoram, oregano and bay leaf.  Stir in red wine and honey.  Let simmer over medium heat until thickened slightly, about 15 minutes.

3.  Stir in water and tomato paste.  Let simmer for another 5-10 minutes.

4.  If using a standing blender, cool mixture down before adding to the blender and pureeing.  Return to saucepan and heat again over medium-low heat.  If you desire a thinner consistency, add more water; thicker, add more tomato paste.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Cheese Raviolis with Sauteed Spinach

1 serving your favorite cheese ravioli (I like these mini ones because it seems you get more!)
1 cup spinach leaves
1 tsp salt
1 tsp olive oil
Pinch of nutmeg
Pinch of pepper
1/2 cup tomato sauce
Cheese for topping
Total time: 15 minutes
Total Cleanup: 5 minutes

How to:

1.  Make ravioli according to package directions (use almost the full tsp to salt the water, leaving a pinch for the spinach)
2.  Heat olive oil in small skillet over low-medium heat.  Add spinach and season with the pinch of salt, pepper & nutmeg.  Cook 3 minutes until the spinach is slightly wilted.

3. Drain raviolis and place on plate.  Top with spinach and cheese of your choice.  Soft and creamy goat cheese was perfect on this.  It melted a bit on top and the flavor was excellent with a touch of nutmeg in the spinach.

Tips & Tricks:

On freezing pasta sauce

If you don’t know when you will use this pasta sauce next and you don’t want to defrost the whole jar ever time you need just a little bit,  fill an ice cube tray with the pasta sauce and freeze.  Once the cubes are frozen, remove and seal in a plastic ziploc.  Use as necessary


6 thoughts on “Weeknight Tomato Sauce & Raviolis

  1. Pingback: 10 uses for…. « Blissful Bites

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  4. Ice cube trays work graeat for so many things. How many times do you need to open a can of tomato paste for a lousy tablespoon or a can of broth for a few ounces? Put the remainder in ice cube trays. My favorite use is for storing a winter’s worth of pesto made at basil’s summer peak.

  5. Great idea about the ice cube trays and pasta sauce. make sure not to add them to a drink mistakenly. it was the worst glass of milk i ever had…and the last!

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