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Need advice for baking home-made ravioli

I have home made ravioli in the freezer that I plan on baking for dinner tomorrow night. The plan is to spread some tomato sauce on the bottom of a lasagna pan, layer in the ravioli, and then top with more sauce and cheese.

Do I need to cook the ravioli first?? Any other suggestions?

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  1. I would cook them, dry them and then layer them with sauce.

    1. I have to ask why you want to bake rather than cook in water and then dress with your sauce and cheese?

      2 Replies
      1. re: c oliver

        I only have one stock pot, and I'm also serving home made fettucine with meat sauce.

        1. re: CarNut

          I'm thinking of all the work it took to make home made ravioli, only to turn them back into what sheets of pasta could do. As others say, I wouldn't precook or it could end up too watery.

      2. Yes, cook it first, even the day before, but to al dente only.

        1. No, you do not need to cook them first. Just thaw them.
          Be generous with the sauce and if it is on the thick side, thin it with water, to the thinness of tomato soup. Cover the pan with foil for 3/4 of the baking time, then remove for the end of cooking and add more cheese to the top, so it browns nicely. Not only is pre-cooking the ravioli unnecessary, but it risks some of them leaking or coming apart.

          3 Replies
          1. re: greygarious

            I'm changing my answer. I think grey has some good points.

            1. re: sandylc

              I didn't know we were allowed to change our answers. ;)

            2. re: greygarious

              I agree. I make a "ravioli lasagna" for my kids and I use uncooked ravioli from the supermarket refrigerator case. Layer with sauce and cheese and bake.

            3. Lots of recipes out there for frozen-baked-ravioli - here's one: http://www.kraftrecipes.com/recipes/w...

              This may not pass muster in Italy or fine dining establishments, but I've eaten a similarly prepared ravioli meal and it was just fine in my (perhaps) lowly opinion.

              1. It would be like making fresh lasagna, no need to pre-cook.

                1. Thanks to everyone for the replies!

                  1. Like lasagna, if you place enough sauce in the pan, you don't need to cook first. The sauce will cook the ravioli's.

                    1. perhaps o-t, but why 2 pasta dishes? are you feeding an army?

                      1. I have to disagree with most posters.

                        Yes, cook home made ravioli first. I find the texture of the noodle goes mushy if you slowly heat them in sauce (same for home made lasagna noodles - boil first). I think the egg needs that shock to set the noodle so it doesn't turn to mush.

                        Let us know what happens.

                        3 Replies
                        1. re: thimes

                          Oops, I pretty much repeated this advice in my post below. Sorry for the duplicate response.

                          1. re: thimes

                            I whole heartily agree. Cooking fresh pasta slowly in sauce causes the pasta to go mushy. I find the difference very noticeable.

                            1. re: DowntownJosie

                              I hate the texture of pasta cooked in sauce, and never do it, whether it's ravioli or lasagna.
                              No thanks. I'll take the time and trouble to cook it first.

                          2. Deep fry them, then serve some sauce on the side....nothing like deep fried ravioli!
                            After frying you can keep them warm in the oven.

                            1. I tested both blanched and uncooked fresh pasta sheets for lasagna not too long ago. I expected to find that the blanched sheets were mushier than the raw dough, but actually found the opposite. It seemed that the minute or so in boiling water set the egg protein quickly and gave the blanched pasta a little more bite than the raw pasta that cooked more slowly in the sauce.

                              That said, the difference wasn't marked and, although I now routinely blanch fresh pasta for lasagna, I would absolutely use the uncooked fresh sheets if I were pressed for time.

                              I would imagine that the results with ravioli would be similar.

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: bear

                                This is what I've found w/ fresh lasagna noodles. It's slightly better cooking first but it's not noticeable enough to do through the hassle.

                              2. this is how my grandmother taught me to cook the homemade ravioli:

                                whether fresh or frozen, drop a few at a time into simmering water and let them rise to the top. Take a baking dish with a cover, spread sauce in the bottom, and turn the oven on at about 300. As the ravioli rise, scoop them out with a slotted spoon and put them in the baking dish, and top with more sauce. Cover and put in the oven to let them 'rest' [her word]

                                Keep on cooking and layering and then let them ALL 'rest' in the oven for about 15 minutes. Serve with extra sauce.

                                Now, voice of experience - they're better if you don't create more than 3 layers of ravioli. If you have more ravioli than that, use another baking dish - you can serve the first while the other one 'rests.'

                                they don't come out mushy at all, but the dough and the filling just seem to meld together better than the 'american' way of just boiling and adding sauce.

                                1. You dont have to thaw it or cook it first. Although not using homemade, when the kiddos were little, this was one of my go to last minute meals: layerd in a deep casserole, sauce, frozen ravs, pepperoni,cheese, more suace, repeat till casserole was full. Cover and bake at 375 for about an hour, the ravs were chewy and yummy, sometimes boiling made them watery so I like this version much better. often snuck some fesh spinach in there too.