While this post is about dinner for two, I am posting my traditional meatball recipe because when I make the entire recipe. That way I can freeze them in small batches for the future. Add a Garden Salad to round out the menu.
Makes 18 to 20 meatballs. Make the meatball mixture early in the day.
1 pound ground beef
1 pound ground veal
1 pound ground pork
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup freshly grated parmesan or Pecorino Romano cheese
3 tablespoons chopped Italian flat-leaf parsley
Salt and ground black pepper to taste
3cups stale Italian bread, crumbled
1 ½ cups lukewarm water
Combine beef, veal, and pork in a large bowl. Add garlic, eggs, cheese, parsley, salt, and pepper.
Blend bread crumbs into the meat mixture. Slowly add the water 1/2 cup at a time. The mixture should be very moist but still, hold its shape. Refrigerate for several hours.
Shape the meat mixture into 3-inch balls.
Heat enough olive oil to cover the bottom of a large skillet. Fry meatballs in batches.
When the meatball is very brown and slightly crisp, remove it from the heat and drain on a paper towel. (If your mixture is too wet, cover the meatballs while they are cooking so that they hold their shape better.)
For dinner for two;
Place a ladle of sauce in a small baking dish. Place 4 meatballs in the dish. Cover with sauce. Cover the dish and bake in the oven with the ravioli.
2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
2 large cloves of garlic
¼ cup chopped onion
¼ cup tomato paste
¼ cup of chopped fresh basil leaves
½ teaspoon of crushed red pepper (optional)
Two 26 oz containers can of finely chopped Italian tomatoes
Salt and pepper to taste
In a large saucepan, heat the olive oil. Add the remaining sauce ingredients and stir until well mixed. Bring the sauce to a simmer and cook partially covered for 1 hour.
I love that ravioli; i can be cooked this. No more breaking apart in boiling water. If you double the recipe use two baking dishes that can go into the dishwasher. The ravioli need to be in a single layer to cook properly.
2 cups marinara sauce
Half a package of frozen cheese-filled ravioli (25 to 27 1/2 ounces)
2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
Defrost the ravioli on a plate in a single layer covered with plastic wrap and refrigerated overnight.
Heat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray bottom and sides of rectangular baking dish 13x9x2-inches, with cooking spray.
Spread 1 cup of the pasta sauce in a baking dish. Arrange the ravioli in a single layer over the sauce; top with half of the remaining pasta sauce. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.
Cover with aluminum foil and bake for 30 minutes. Remove foil; bake uncovered 15 minutes longer or until bubbly and hot in center.