When removing gluten from my diet a couple years ago, one dish I assumed I would never taste again was ravioli. Seriously, how could I pull that one off without flour? I’m sure it could be done, but it would take weeks, even months, of trial and error. I love ravioli, but frankly, not enough to put myself through that kind of ordeal. Luckily, a moment of genius struck me when trying to figure out something unique to make with my most recent batch of Cappello’s Gluten/Grain Free lasagna sheets. They did all the hard work for me; I just had to put everything together.
Ravioli has been written about since the 1300s, so logic dictates that it’s been around longer than that. It probably took a while to get the attention of the scribes, right? There are countless variations of ravioli, but since this was my first time making it in years, I wanted to style it after my childhood favorite – Chef Boyardee beef ravioli!
1 pkg Cappello’s fresh lasagna sheets (12oz)
3 cups (24oz) Superior Spaghetti Sauce or similar
1/2 onion, blended
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tbsp fresh parsley
1/2 tsp each salt and pepper
1 tsp olive oil
1 lb ground beef
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
1 tbsp parmesan cheese
2 tbsp butter
If you’re using spaghetti sauce from a jar (or leftovers in the fridge), pour it into a pot and let it warm on low as you get the raviolis ready.
In a blender or processor (or my favorite, a Magic Bullet), blend the onion, garlic, parsley, salt and pepper.
In a stock pot, heat the oil on medium heat, then add the blended ingredients. Simmer for about four minutes, stirring frequently. It’s important to use a stock pot when making the beef because we’re trying to get a finely-minced ground beef, since clumps won’t be very appealing in ravioli. Using a stockpot will keep moisture from escaping, and moisture will help keep the beef from clumping.
Stir in the beef, nutmeg, and cream and reduce the heat to med/low. Stirring (as opposed to pounding or mashing) will also help the beef remain clump-free. Continue to stir as the beef slowly cooks, it should take about 15 minutes.
This is what it’ll look like about five minutes into cooking.
Near the fifteen-minute-mark, the cream will have evaporated and the beef will be ready. Stir in 1 tbsp of parmesan cheese and remove from heat.
Drain the meat of most of its fat and set aside. It’ll look a little boring at this point, but that’s a good thing – it’s just one small piece of a larger project!
Gently wet two of the lasagna sheets and set them on a cutting board. Place four 1-tbsp clumps of the beef onto one sheet.
Cover the sheet with the other sheet, and gently press it down around the beef with your fingers to remove any trapped air. Using a ravioli press or a pizza cutter, cut out your ravioli.
Repeat this process with your other lasagna sheets – you should end up with 15 or 16 raviolis.
Quick tip: slice your leftover lasagna sheets into strips and use as fresh pasta!
Let’s take a second and give your spaghetti sauce some love. In order to get that signature Chef Boyardee consistency, I used an immersion blender to get rid of the chunks. You’ll also end up with quite a bit of leftover beef filling – stir it into your spaghetti sauce. Okay, back to your raviolis.
Warm the butter in a large skillet on med/low heat for a couple minutes, then add the ravioli. Toast on each side, about two mins per side, until nice and browned.
Pour on the sauce, and bring to a simmer for a minute or two.
Serve with a little parmesan cheese sprinkled on top.