Dinner Tonight: Cheesy Ravioli Bake

I used a tortellini recipe from one of my favorite cookbooks, Our Best Bites, as the inspiration for this supper.   Whenever spring and summer approach, out go the heavy pasta dinners for cold nights and in come the light and fresh pastas that are perfect for warm weather.  This little recipe would be great as a vegetarian main course (just omit the bacon) or the perfect side dish to a piece of chicken or fish.  It’s pasta summer-style…
Shopping List
1 (12 oz) container cheese-filled ravioli (or tortellini)
3-4 pieces of bacon, chopped (or I used a 1/4 pound of pancetta, chopped)
3 garlic cloves, chopped
2 tablespoons flour
2 cups milk
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flake
1 tablespoon lemon zest
2 cups fresh spinach leaves
1/2 cup Mozzarella cheese, shredded 
Parmesan cheese, to garnish
Salt and Pepper (S&P)
Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO)
Bring a large pot of water to boil over medium-high heat.  Drop your ravioli in and cook about five minutes.
Meanwhile, in a large skillet, heat about 2 tablespoons of EVOO over medium-high heat.  Brown your bacon about 5 minutes.  Remove bacon with a slotted spoon and reserve on a paper towel.  Add in your garlic and saute about a minute in the same pan where you cooked your bacon.  Whisk in your flour and milk and reduce heat to medium-low, stirring often.  Stir in your red pepper flake and a pinch of S&P.  Stir until sauce thickens up a bit (just 3 or 4 minutes).
Drain off your ravioli and add to your sauce mixture.  Stir in your lemon zest, spinach and Mozzarella cheese.  Remove from heat and serve garnishing with Parmesan cheese and your crumbled bacon on top.
Simple and delicious.  Thanks Our Best Bites!
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  • Sheaffer {Pinterest Told Me To} April 22, 2013 at 11:01 am

    MMMMM! This looks SO good! Love a baked pasta…and love the lemon in this one!

  • Maureen W. (Maryland) April 22, 2013 at 2:48 pm

    Totally unrelated to this post, but I had to tell you that you saved me once again. Every week, my husband and I struggle with our grocery list trying to think of easy, nutritious things to feed our 19 month olds whose palates change with the direction of the breeze šŸ™‚ We wanted to make quiche to incorporate some protein and veggies, but then I realized I had no idea how to make quiche! Then I said, "Wait! I'm sure Shay has a recipe," pulled out my laptop and sure enough you had not one, but two. I "mix and matched" my own crust (crescent rolls), veggies (spinach and onion) and cheese (colby jack) with your basic recipe and it turned out beautifully! Your blog is like a best friend I can call and say, "Hey, I need an idea for dinner. What are you making?" XOXO

  • Kimberly April 22, 2013 at 3:22 pm

    Love Our Best Bites!! My MIL made this for us after we had our boy in Jan. It is soooooo good!

  • Brianna Deneen April 22, 2013 at 7:24 pm

    This looks amazing!!! Must try it šŸ™‚ Thanks for posting…us Wisconsin gals love us some cheese!

    http://www.briannamattias.blogspot.com/

  • Jenna {Real Simple Girl} April 23, 2013 at 12:20 am

    I stopped by the grocery store tonight to pick up the last couple of things I need to make this! Can't wait to try it this week!!!

  • Elizabeth April 23, 2013 at 8:32 pm

    I made this last night for dinner and was soooo thankful there were leftovers for lunch today! YUM,

  • Jennifer May 17, 2013 at 2:33 am

    This was AMAZING!!! All four kiddos loved it and asked for seconds. It's going in the regular rotation!

  • Arlene Bird April 22, 2014 at 8:20 pm

    I just wanted to make sure I'm not missing something – we don't have to bake anything for this dish, right? Sounds delicious! Can't wait to make it tonight! Thanks Shay!

  • Mix and Match Mama April 22, 2014 at 8:30 pm

    No, we don't actually bake anything in the oven. It just cooks up in the pan :).

  • Mely G July 7, 2014 at 4:00 pm

    Oh my goodness!! I am so excited I saw this. I have a bag of both ravioli and tortis sitting in my fridge AS well as 2 thick cut pieces of bacon and just today I was wondering. "What am I going to do with those?" Thanks!