What’s for dinner? I cringe when I get asked that question. I always get my act together, but typically that question is asked the moment I step in the door after a chaotic day. There’s typically a few hungry people just staring at me waiting for me to answer. That’s when the stopwatch starts. That 30-minute countdown to get something on the table.
It can be hard to menu plan for a typical week as my week typically shifts from day to day and the schedule is always changing. Working full-time during the day, combined with the kids’ busy after-school plans, means that I’m typically getting home at 5:30 or 6 in the evening. So I get it. The kids are validly hungry.
Those same kids though are pretty critical about dinner options and their appetites for flavor change on day to day. So it’s always a gamble whether or not they’ll like what I’m about to prepare. I get excited if I get some input from the kids when it comes to the menu planning.
When my older daughter, my pickiest eater, called me in the middle of the day and asked if we could pretty please have some ravioli for dinner tonight, it didn’t matter that I hadn’t a clue what ingredients I had in my house, I would try to figure out some way to oblige.
I do typically try to have some cheese ravioli in my freezer though. It’s a great shortcut to have ready to go. In moments like this, I would typically just toss the simple ravioli with a simple doctored up jar of marinara sauce, but I wanted to do something different this time. I had all these good intentions for specific ravioli accompaniments, but quickly learned that my fridge wasn’t as stocked as I wanted it. But I did have sweet peppers sitting in my fridge that needed to get used up. Alas, my family doesn’t like sauteed or cooked peppers. But maybe I could do something else with them.
I decided to roast the peppers. I threw the papers on a foil lined baking sheet and a broiled them, turning them every so often so they were charred all over. Next, I peeled off the outer char layer.
Afterwards, I tossed them in my Vitamix along with some fresh basil, olive oil, garlic, and lemon. I love using my Vitamix. It takes like 30 seconds to do anything in there.
Next, I sauteed up some onion and garlic and I added the sauce mixture into the onion mixture. To that mixture, I stirred in some ricotta cheese and a little bit of veggie broth to thin the mixture a little. I then tossed the cooked ravioli into the sauce. Stirring well. And done. I served the ravioli with a spinach salad and everyone was happy. My picky family members who typically aren’t pepper fans loved the sauce. Dinner was served. And it took less than 30 minutes.
The best thing about this sauce? It can be used on anything. Try it on veggies. Try it on grilled chicken. This flavorful sauce is perfect for anything that needs a boost. Hope you enjoy it as much as we did!
- Frozen Cheese Ravioli
- 20 Assorted Sweet Baby Peppers or 2 regular size red, yellow or orange bell peppers
- ½ cup fresh basil leaves
- 1 cloves garlic
- ¼ cup olive oil
- 2 tbsp. lemon juice
- 1 tsp. kosher salt
- 1 tsp. ground black pepper
- ½ tbsp. olive oil
- 1 small onion, chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, chopped
- 2 tbsp. ricotta cheese
- ¼ cup veggie broth
- additional salt and pepper as needed
- Cook the ravioli according to the directions on the package, drain and set aside.
- Cover a large rimmed baking sheet with foil and place the peppers on it. Set your oven to broil and broil the peppers for about 8-10 minutes, turning the peppers every couple of minutes for even charring.
- Once the peppers are charred on all sides, transfer them to a large glass bowl and tightly cover with foil. Let sit for a few minutes.
- After about five minutes, remove the foil cover. Remove the skin from the peppers – it should have detached a bit. Slice open the peppers and remove any stems or seeds.
- Transfer seeded peppers to a blender or food processor. Add in the oil, basil, lemon juice, garlic clove, salt and pepper. Blend until pureed.
- Heat up a large saute pan with olive oil. Add in chopped onion and garlic and saute until soft and translucent.
- Pour in pepper sauce mixture. Stir in ricotta cheese and broth.
- Stir completely. Toss in pasta and let it absorb some of the sauce.
- Taste and adjust seasoning with salt and pepper.
- Serve and enjoy!