It’s as comforting as a big old bear hug. Our recipe calls for mozzarella and Swiss, but feel free to use any combination of cheeses you prefer; just remember, one cheese is for ooey gooiness and one is for flavour. We made these in little individual dishes, but one big family-style pan is great for sharing, too! Serves 8
1 600-g pkg fresh meat-, veggie- or cheese-filled ravioli (approx. 5 cups or 80 pieces)
1 tbsp olive oil + extra for cooked pasta
1 1/2 cups grated mozzarella cheese, divided
1 1/2 cups grated Swiss cheese, divided
2 tbsp butter + extra for buttering baking dishes
2 shallots, finely chopped
1/4 tsp sea salt
1/4 tsp pepper
3 tbsp flour
1/4 cup medium-dry sherry
1 1/2 cups 18% cream
1 1/2 cups whole milk
1 cup coarsely chopped or torn fresh basil leaves, divided + more for garnish
In large pot of boiling salted water, add ravioli; stir to prevent sticking on the bottom, then cook until they float to the surface, about 5 to 8 minutes, or simply follow package directions.
Drain through a colander and rinse with cold running water to remove sticky starches, transfer to large bowl, then gently toss with drop or 2 of olive oil to prevent sticking; set aside.
In another bowl, toss together mozzarella and Swiss cheeses; set aside.
Generously butter baking dishes, then arrange dishes on baking sheet; set aside.
In medium saucepan over medium-low heat, add 2 tbsp of the butter, 1 tbsp of the oil, shallots, salt and pepper; stir and cook until shallots are softened and beginning to colour, about 8 to 10 minutes.
Add flour, reduce heat to low, and cook, stirring constantly, until flour takes on slightly nutty colour and aroma, about 3 to 5 minutes.
Stir in sherry and let alcohol burn off, about 30 seconds.
Add cream and milk and stir briskly until smooth. Add about two-thirds of the cheese blend, stirring to melt and combine; remove from heat and stir in about two-thirds of the basil. Transfer cheese sauce to bowl of ravioli; gently toss to evenly coat—try not to break the raviolis.
Preheat oven to 425°F.
To remaining grated cheese, stir in remaining basil, and pinch of pepper (if using).
Divide the sauced ravioli between the buttered dishes and top each with a generous pinch of the reserved grated cheese and basil.
Just before serving, bake until cheese is golden, melted and bubbly, about 20 minutes.
From Hudson, Quebec, now living in Port Hope, Ontario, Signe is a restaurant chef-turned-writer who tells award-winning stories and creates delicious recipes for LCBO’s Food & Drink, Manna Pro Hearty Homestead, The Harvest Commission, and Today’s Parent; she published her first book – Happy Hens & Fresh Eggs; Keeping Chickens in the Kitchen Garden with 100 Recipes – in 2015.