One of Farmer Doc’s favorite dishes is lasagna. I usually make it for him on his birthday, but it can be a big pain in the butt! This year we compromised with ravioli and a homemade tomato sauce. And Garlic Bubble Bread. (Seriously? This bread is the way to his heart!)
I started with a can of Red Gold diced tomatoes with basil, garlic, and oregano and a can of Red Gold tomato paste.
The diced tomatoes went into a large skillet over medium heat (don’t drain them – you want all that yummy juice!).
Then the tomato paste and a good dose of extra-virgin olive oil.
As it heats, the tomato paste thins out and incorporates beautifully with the EVOO and the diced tomatoes. Then it’s time to play with the seasonings. The tomato paste can be a little bitter, so add about a teaspoon of sugar to take the bitterness out. I also added some more oregano and basil, and about a 1/2 teaspoon of celery seed. (If you’re new to celery seed, go easy – a little goes a long way and it can become overpowering very fast!) Play with the seasonings until you find something you like.
Let that simmer together for about 10 minutes.
In the meantime, boil some frozen ravioli. I love frozen ravioli - it’s so easy, just boil it in salted water until it floats! Ta da!
Make sure to take the ravioli out of the water as soon as they’re done – overcooked ravioli get soggy. Ick. Put your ravioli in a bowl and douse them with EVOO so they don’t stick together. Always use more EVOO than you think you need… I never manage to use quite enough!
Once your sauce is bubbly and has thickened up a little bit, add the ravioli and give everything a good stir so the ravioli are coated.
Serve up with Garlic Bubble Bread (trust me!), and some fresh veggies with seasoned salt.
Now that is a great birthday dinner!