Italian ravioli: the slow cooking method

By on June 11, 2013
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One of the most useful utensils a college student can have in their kitchen is a slow cooker. As I’ve said in a previous article, slow cookers are amazing little inventions that can give someone a delicious, home cooked meal without the person even having to be around. Getting my slow cooker was one of the greatest decisions I’ve made. I can put as many or as few ingredients as I want into the crockpot, leave for class or work, and have a delicious dinner waiting for me when I get home. There is no limit to what crockpots can do.

Daniel Twieg/Photo Editor

Daniel Twieg/Photo Editor

Growing up in an Italian household, I learned Italy has a long list of dishes you can prepare for your family. The key ingredient in most of these dishes is pasta of some sort. I’ve also learned that, as hard as this is for some of you to believe, there is a way for you to screw up spaghetti. If you overcook pasta it gets gummy and falls apart. Luckily there is a wonderful type of pasta that is incredibly hard to screw up: Ravioli.

Ravioli is my favorite type of pasta. It’s easy to eat, doesn’t fly off your fork, and can be stuffed with beef, cheese and mushrooms. Ravioli is also surprisingly low in calories, which is good for those of us that calorie count. The best ravioli, in my opinion, is Buitoni. One and a quarter cups of these bad boys is only 340 calories. They’re also very inexpensive and last for up to four months when placed in the freezer.

So now to combine the two topics at hand: Raviolis and slow cookers. For those of you nonbelievers out there who read this and say, “Raviolis and slow cookers don’t go together! That’s madness!” Au contraire. The best ravioli recipe I’ve found, thanks to the lovely internet, includes a slow cooker and
makes more than enough for a hungry college student like myself.

What you’ll need:
1 (25 ounce) bag of raviolis stuffed with your choice of stuffing
1 (26 ounce) jar of pasta sauce
1 (8 ounce) can of tomato sauce
1 red bell pepper
Italian seasoning
Salt
Pepper
1 cup of mozzarella cheese

Pour half of the pasta sauce into your slow cooker. Add the frozen raviolis and then top them off with the remaining pasta sauce, the tomato sauce, bell pepper, and seasonings (note that for a spicy kick, sriracha hot sauce is your best friend when it comes to pasta sauce.).

Next, cover your slow cooker and turn it on low. Cook your raviolis and sauce for 4-5 hours or until the raviolis are tender.

I would suggest using these hours to catch up on chores or homework, or if you’re irresponsible like me, Netflix.

During the last half hour of cooking, add the cup of mozzarella cheese and stir until it’s melted.

This makes about six servings so feel free to invite your friends over and brag about your culinary skills. Put in a bowl or on a plate, serve, and enjoy!

Michelle Love
Staff Writer
mlove221@uab.edu

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