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If You Can’t Make Soup, Make Lasagna

June 9, 2011
Escarole Ravioli Lasagna

Ten years ago I’d never even heard of escarole.  Had no idea how to spell it, much less pronounce it.

(It’s es-ka-roll.)

That all changed when I met my husband.  No event in his family is complete without his Aunt Mary’s famous escarole soup.  They down a pot of it at almost every occasion and usually wish they had more.

Me too.

Except that Mary isn’t about to part with the recipe, regardless of how much the rest of us have begged and begged.

Mainly me.  It wasn’t pretty, but it’s delicious soup!

In a moment of desperation I had to search out new ways to use escarole in the hopes that eventually she’ll weaken and pass on the soup recipe. There’s always a chance that begging will eventually do the trick.

But in the meantime,  I will happily make this recipe whenever I bring home fresh escarole.  The sausage lends a little something to the sauce and the bites of escarole are just slightly more bitter than spinach and really makes a good change of pace if you’re tired of adding spinach to your meals.

Plus using frozen ravioli makes this a pretty quick dish to get from start to oven and it’s made enough for three days of leftovers for John and I.  And still good on day 3! Bren’s had an upset tummy so she’s been steering clear of this for now.

Escarole and Ravioli Lasagna

Ingredients

1 pound sausage

1 head escarole, chopped

1 24-ounce jar tomato sauce, preferably garlic flavored

1 9-ounce package cheese or spinach ravioli

1 16-ounce package of mozzarella cheese

Directions

1. Preheat the oven to 375.

2. In a large skillet, crumble the sausage and cook on medium heat, stirring occasionally, until browned.

3. Chop the escarole and place alongside the sausage in the skillet.  Cook until wilted, around 3 – 5 minutes.

4. In a 9-by-13-inch baking dish, begin by adding a layer of sauce to the bottom. Then place the ravioli, followed by the crumbled sausage and escarole mixture, then a layer of mozzarella. Repeat at least once.

5. Bake about 45 minutes or until it’s bubbly and the ravioli appear to be cooked through. Let cool for about 10 minutes before serving.

One of the great things about this dish is the endless variations – you can choose a different kind of ravioli, substitute cheeses (I’ve used provolone as well), and added a little crushed red pepper for some heat.  All tasty ideas!

Recipe adapted from Rachael Ray.

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