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Vegetable-Stuffed Ravioli Recipe

Vegetable-Stuffed Ravioli Recipe


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This simple ravioli recipe from Chef Lee Skawinski of Cinque Terre in Portland, Maine, begins with a basic cheese ravioli filling. — Allison Beck

Ingredients

For filling:

  • 8 ounces ricotta cheese
  • 1 egg
  • Pinch of freshly-grated nutmeg
  • Olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon minced shallots, sauteed
  • 2 ounces Pecorino, grated
  • 2 ounces Parmigiano Reggiano, grated
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

Optional filling additions (choose one):

  • 1 cup roasted carrots, puréed
  • 1 cup roasted beets, puréed, and 1 teaspoon fennel pollen
  • 1 large potato, baked and grated, and roasted garlic
  • 1 cup sautéed arugula, puréed

For pasta:

  • 1 pound fresh pasta sheets
  • 2 eggs, beaten, for an egg wash

Directions

For filling:

To sauté shallots, heat a small pan over medium-high heat. Add about 2 teaspoons of olive oil and shallots. Cook about 3-4 minutes, or until they're translucent. Set aside.

Combine ricotta, egg, shallots, nutmeg, pecorino, Parmigiano Reggiano, salt, pepper and filling addition, if using, in a mixing bowl. Mix together and chill overnight.

For assembling ravioli:

Lay one pasta sheet on lightly floured surface. Spoon filling mixture, 1 tablespoon at a time, onto pasta sheet, leaving 1½ inches between each spoonful. Brush beaten egg wash on sides of pasta, and between filling. Cover with second pasta sheet. Use fingers to seal edges around each filling, then cut apart with a knife to create individual ravioli.

Cook ravioli in salted boiling water for 45 seconds, and remove with a slotted spoon.

Serve on heated plates with butter or olive oil. Garnish with fresh sage.


Ravioli with Vegetable Filling

Mix flour with egg, olive oil, about 4 tablespoons water and salt and knead to form a smooth dough. If necessary, knead in a little more water or flour. The dough should be smooth and elastic. Wrap in plastic and let rest at room temperature.

Rinse eggplant and tomato, pat dry, trim and cut into very small cubes. Rinse and trim scallions, finely chop the white part, cut the green in small rings and set aside. Peel garlic and chop finely. Sauté in 1 tablespoon butter and add the white scallions. Add eggplant and tomato and simmer until the liquid has evaporated. Season with salt, pepper, nutmeg, basil and thyme, ricotta and green tops of scallions, mix and allow to cool.

Meanwhile, rinse the chile pepper, cut in half, remove seeds and chop very finely.

Divide the dough in half and roll out thinly on a lightly floured surface. Distribute small amounts of filling at a distance of about 4 cm (approximately 1 1/2 inch) on half of the dough. Brush egg white around the filling. Place the second half of the dough over the top and press around the filling. Cut the ravioli out in squares with a knife.

Cook the ravioli in abundant boiling salted water for about 1-2 minutes.

Cook the chopped chile briefly in the remaining butter and stir in the chives. Remove the ravioli from the water with a slotted spoon and drain. To serve, arrange on plates, drizzle with chile chive butter and garnish with thyme.


Delicious Vegetable Ravioli Lasagna

Everyone loves the taste of lasagna, right? It’s that classic comfort food that reminds you of sitting at your mom’s feet as a kid and just watching her cook and add in all the layers. There’s something magical about a homemade lasagna recipe that soothes the soul. I often find myself craving the delicious flavors of lasagna but don’t have time to make it from scratch. That’s where Ravioli Lasagna comes in!

This recipe is quick and easy to make since you don’t have to boil the pasta. It’s also vegetarian and kid approved! Picky eaters won’t even know notice the vegetables if you don’t tell them, since this recipe smothers veggies in RAGÚ Simply™ Roasted Garlic Pasta Sauce, my family’s go-to red sauce! This garlicky red sauce makes so many easy and flavorful weeknight dinners. With California-grown tomatoes, 100% olive oil and no added sugar, I feel great about serving it up every chance I get.

Even though this recipe is meat free, it’s still very hearty and satisfying. Using fresh summer vegetables in this recipe gives it such bright and simple flavors that will also fill you up!


Recipe Summary

  • 2 ½ cups pumpkin puree
  • 2 large carrots, cooked and pureed
  • 2 onions, diced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 2 teaspoons ground coriander seed
  • ½ teaspoon ground mace
  • ½ teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1 pinch ground cardamom
  • 1 cup unsalted butter
  • ⅓ pound grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 tablespoons real maple syrup
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 2 ½ pounds fresh pasta sheets
  • salt to taste
  • ground black pepper to taste
  • 1 cup hazelnuts
  • 3 cups heavy whipping cream
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 pinch cayenne pepper
  • 1 pinch white pepper
  • salt to taste
  • 2 cups shredded sorrel, stems removed

Saute the onions, garlic, and spices in butter or margarine until the onions are soft. Stir together with the pureed vegetables. Add cheese, maple syrup, egg, salt, and black pepper. Adjust seasoning. Set the filling aside.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F (205 degrees C). Toast the hazelnuts in a shallow pan on the middle rack for 10 to 12 minutes, or until brown and fragrant. When they are cool enough to handle, wrap the nuts tightly in a lint-free towel, and vigorously rub nuts against the towel. Continue rubbing until the nuts are almost blond.

Cook the cream, garlic, cayenne, and white pepper over high heat stir often, and adjust heat to keep the cream from boiling over. When the cream is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon, add a pinch salt. Adjust seasoning. Remove sauce from heat until you're ready to use it.

Lay one sheet of Fresh Pasta out on a flat surface. Spray with water to prevent drying, and to make it more flexible. Place half tablespoons of filling along the bottom edge of the pasta about 1/2 inch apart. For larger ravioli, use 1 tablespoon of filling, and leave 1 inch between dollops. Fold the pasta sheet over the filling, and cut apart with a ravioli cutter. Set the finished ravioli aside, and cover with a damp cloth. Repeat until filling and/or pasta is completely used.

Cook the ravioli in salted boiling water until al dente. Drain.

Meanwhile, reheat the sauce. Add the shredded sorrel to the sauce cook just until it wilts -- about 30 seconds. Add half the hazelnuts, turn the heat off, and add the cooked ravioli. Stir gently, and serve immediately. Garnish with remaining hazelnuts.


Shortcut Tip:

Use a ravioli frame to shape homemade ravioli: Cut a sheet of rolled dough so it is a little longer and wider than the frame. Place dough over frame, making sure it completely covers frame. Using your fingers, lightly press dough into hollows of frame. Fill each hollow with about 1 teaspoon of filling. Moisten the dough around filling by brushing it with water. Cut another sheet of rolled dough so it is a little longer and wider than frame place on top of filled dough. Using a rolling pin, roll over top of dough, pressing firmly to seal and score ravioli. To remove ravioli, carefully invert frame onto a floured surface. (You may need to tap one end of the frame against the surface to dislodge ravioli.) Cut dough into individual ravioli, trimming excess dough. Repeat with the remaining dough and filling.


Skillet ravioli with spinach

One of the biggest shocks of my post, cough, 30 life is that I have become, well, a jock. It unfolded in such an innocent manner, I barely registered what was happening. I always swam laps but every couple years I take a break from it to torture myself into becoming “a runner” (read: jogging and sputtering). I usually fail and go back to swimming but this time it held my interest longer. Then I decided to throw in a day a week with a trainer because I’m just not the kind of person who does burpees on my own volition. Then I found out my trainer used to be a boxer, and so I started that too. Then I got my mom’s old bike and it turns out that biking around the city is vastly superior to any other mode of transportation. And then my husband decided that he wanted to get back into tennis and I was bummed I’d never learned and now we both take tennis classes once a week. If you think I’m about to break into some horrifically boring speech about, like, the power of exercise, don’t worry, I’m still me. If there was any takeaway here, anyway, it would just be that once I realized I did not care whether I ever achieved greatness in any of these sports — I have no desire to run races and spend more time gesticulating my racket in the direction of a tennis ball than I do hitting it — I was free to truly enjoy them.


Besides, as always, this is a food story and very specific one: the kind of food I leave kids with when mom and dad are out playing tennis. I usually leave the specifics of kid-feeding to my Bon Appétit column (you’re reading it, aren’t you? find them all here) but this is too brilliant not to share right here, right now. When we had babysitters growing up, it meant pizza night, and it was awesome. And while we do that, too, it’s a little different now that it’s a weekly thing, and on Monday. Monday is too soon to break open pizza delivery vault. But a lot of the foods I make for the family (read: what we want to eat but try to nudge them along for the ride) don’t go over as well when we’re not there “encouraging” (read: bargaining, begging them to try a bite, reminding them about that one time they liked it).


Which brings me to skillet ravioli (a cousin to crispy tortellini), a magical 10-minute dinner that is child-approved (pasta! cheese!) and makes me feel like I have not fully given up on providing nutrients (spinach!). This idea hails from (wait for it) a meal kit company that a friend uses and told me about this dish. I loved the idea and did my best to reverse engineer it and then simplify it for my lazy purposes. It’s fantastically simple: sauté garlic and spinach, set them aside, steam fresh or frozen ravioli in the skillet, add some mascarpone (instant creamy sauce), the reserved spinach, top it with parmesan and briefly broil it until crisp and browned you never make ravioli again another way.


How to Make Baked Ravioli

  1. Start by making the sauce. Using a large skillet over medium heat, heat up some olive oil and add a medium chopped onion. Cook this, stirring as needed, until the onion is soft and turning translucent.
  2. When the onion is tender, add the garlic and cook just until fragrant, then season with salt and pepper.
  3. Next add your tomatoes. You’ll need one large can (28 oz) of whole tomatoes plus another large can of crushed, fire-roasted tomatoes. You’ll add the liquid as well – no need to drain the tomatoes. I love the chunkiness of the sauce from using the whole tomatoes, but if you don’t want a lot of chunks, feel free to use 2 cans of crushed tomatoes.


I'm Todd Wilbur, Chronic Food Hacker

For 30 years I've been deconstructing America's most iconic brand-name foods to make the best original clone recipes for you to use at home. Welcome to my lab.

Includes eight (8) 79¢ recipes of your choice each month!

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Anyone who loves Olive Garden is probably also a big fan of the bottomless basket of warm, garlicky breadsticks served before each meal at the huge Italian casual chain. My guess is that the breadsticks are proofed, and then sent to each restaurant where they are baked until golden brown, brushed with butter and sprinkled with garlic salt. Getting the bread just right for a good Olive Garden breadstick recipe was tricky—I tried several different amounts of yeast in all-purpose flour, but then settled on bread flour to give these breadsticks the same chewy bite as the originals. The two-stage rising process is also a crucial step in this much requested homemade Olive Garden breadstick recipe. Also check out our Olive Garden Italian salad dressing recipe.

I never thought dinner rolls were something I could get excited about until I got my hand into the breadbasket at Texas Roadhouse. The rolls are fresh out of the oven and they hit the table when you do, so there’s no waiting to tear into a magnificently gooey sweet roll topped with soft cinnamon butter. The first bite you take will make you think of a fresh cinnamon roll, and then you can’t stop eating it. And when the first roll’s gone, you are powerless to resist grabbing for just one more. But it’s never just one more. It’s two or three more, plus a few extra to take home for tomorrow.

Discovering the secret to making rolls at home that taste as good as the real ones involved making numerous batches of dough, each one sweeter than the last (sweetened with sugar, not honey—I checked), until a very sticky batch, proofed for 2 hours, produced exactly what I was looking for. You can make the dough with a stand mixer or a handheld one, the only difference being that you must knead the dough by hand without a stand mixer. When working with the dough add a little bit of flour at a time to keep it from sticking, and just know that the dough will be less sticky and more workable after the first rise.

Roll the dough out and measure it as specified here, and after a final proofing and a quick bake—plus a generous brushing of butter on the tops—you will produce dinner rolls that look and taste just like the best rolls I’ve had at any famous American dinner chain.

In early 1985, restaurateur Rich Komen felt there was a specialty niche in convenience-food service just waiting to be filled. His idea was to create an efficient outlet that could serve freshly made cinnamon rolls in shopping malls throughout the country. It took nine months for Komen and his staff to develop a cinnamon roll recipe he knew customers would consider the "freshest, gooiest, and most mouthwatering cinnamon roll ever tasted." The concept was tested for the first time in Seattle's Sea-Tac mall later that year, with workers mixing, proofing, rolling, and baking the rolls in full view of customers. Now, more than 626 outlets later, Cinnabon has become the fastest-growing cinnamon roll bakery in the world.

Crafting a clone of Olive Garden’s signature Lasagna Classico became the perfect opportunity to create a beautiful multi-layered lasagna hack recipe that uses up the whole box of lasagna noodles and fills the baking pan all the way to the top. This Top Secret Recipe makes a lasagna that tips the scale at nearly 10 pounds and will feed hungry mouths for days, with every delicious layer copied directly from the carefully dissected Olive Garden original.

I found a few credible bits of intel in a video of an Olive Garden chef demonstrating what he claims is the real formula on a midday news show, but the recipe was abbreviated for TV and the chef left out some crucial information. One ingredient he conspicuously left out of the recipe is the secret layer of Cheddar cheese located near the middle of the stack. I wasn’t expecting to find Cheddar in lasagna, but when I carefully separated the layers from several servings of the original dish, there was the golden melted cheesy goodness in every slice.

This clone recipe will make enough for 8 big portions, but if you make slightly smaller slices this is easily enough food to fill twelve lasagna-loving bellies. If you like lasagna, you're going to love this version.

Browse my other Olive Garden clone recipes here.

Getting a table at the 123-year-old original Rao’s restaurant in New York City is next to impossible. The tables are “owned” by regulars who schedule their meals months in advance, so every table is full every night, and that’s the way it’s been for the last 38 years. The only way an outsider would get to taste the restaurant’s fresh marinara sauce is to be invited by a regular.

If that isn’t in the stars for you, you could buy a bottle of the sauce at your local market (if they even have it). It won't be fresh, and it's likely to be the most expensive sauce in the store, but it still has that great Rao's taste. An even better solution is to copy the sauce for yourself using this new and very easy hack.

The current co-owner of Rao’s, Frank Pellegrino Jr., told Bon Appetit in 2015 that the famous marinara sauce was created by his grandmother many years ago, and the sauce you buy in stores is the same recipe served in his restaurants. The ingredients are common, but correctly choosing the main ingredient—tomatoes—is important. Try to find San Marzano-style whole canned tomatoes, preferably from Italy. They are a little more expensive than typical canned tomatoes, but they will give you some great sauce.

After 30 minutes of cooking, you’ll end up with about the same amount of sauce as in a large jar of the real thing. Your version will likely be just a little bit brighter and better than the bottled stuff, thanks to the fresh ingredients. But now you can eat it anytime you want, with no reservations, at a table you own.

You might also like my #1 recipe of 2019, Texas Roadhouse Rolls.

Menu Description: “Two lightly fried parmesan-breaded chicken breasts are smothered with Olive Garden’s homemade marinara sauce and melted Italian cheeses. We serve our Chicken Parmigiana with a side of spaghetti for dinner.”

Chicken parmigiana is a forever favorite, and it’s not a difficult dish to whip up at home. But for it to taste like the Olive Garden signature entree, we’ll need to take some very specific steps.

Olive Garden’s chicken is salty and moist all the way through, so we must first start by brining the chicken. Give yourself an extra hour for this important marinating step. The marinara sauce used on the chicken is an Olive Garden specialty and no bottled sauce compares, so we’ll make our own from scratch using canned crushed tomatoes and the formula below.

While the sauce cooks, filling your house with its intoxicating aroma, the chicken is breaded and browned. When the marinara is done, top the chicken with the sauce and mozzarella and stick it under your hot broiler until bubbling.

Hopefully, everyone at your house is hungry, because the Olive Garden dinner portion is two chicken fillets, and this recipe will yield a total of four 2-piece servings. Add a small serving of spaghetti on the side, topped with more of the delicious sauce, and you'll have a perfect match to the restaurant plate.

Can't get enough Olive Garden? Click here for more of my copycat recipes.

“Don’t call them fries,” says KFC about its popular side made with sliced, skin-on russet potatoes. What sets these potatoes apart from all the others is the secret breading made with a similar seasoning blend to the one used for Colonel's Original Recipe Fried Chicken. To achieve the proper crispiness, the potatoes are par-fried, frozen, then fried again until golden brown.

One important ingredient that completes the flavor is MSG. Monosodium glutamate is a food additive derived from glutamic acid, which is an important amino acid found in abundance in nature, food, and in you right now. Over the last 60 years of study and use, MSG has not only been found harmless in normal amounts, but tests have shown glutamate to be a chemical messenger that benefits gut health, immunity, and brain functions such as memory and learning. In addition to all of that, it imparts a unique savoriness that enhances flavors in other ingredients and makes your food taste amazing. Using MSG in your food is, literally, smart cooking.

Another important ingredient is ground Tellicherry black pepper, a select black pepper from India. Winston Shelton, a friend of Harland Sanders who invented the first high-volume pressure fryers for KFC, confirmed this. Shelton recalled seeing the ingredient when Sanders showed him the secret formula for the fried chicken seasoning he had scribbled on a piece of paper.

While we were shooting the first episode of my TV Show, Top Secret Recipe, Winston pulled me aside and whispered to me that Tellicherry pepper is crucial to creating the unique KFC aftertaste. It was a great tip, and fortunately, we caught that moment on camera and you can see it in the show. Later, I conducted a side-by-side taste test with common black pepper and Tellicherry black pepper and discovered Winston was right. If you want the best taste for your clone you'll need Tellicherry pepper, which you can find online and in some food stores. Be sure to grind it fine before using it.

For this recipe, just two russet potatoes are all it takes to make the equivalent of a large serving of fried potato wedges, which will be enough for at least four people.

Menu Description: "Parmesan, Romano and mozzarella cheese, clams and herb breadcrumbs baked in mushroom caps."

Breadcrumbs, clams and three types of cheese are baked into white mushroom caps in this clone of a top pick from Olive Garden's appetizer menu. Mix all the stuffing ingredients together in a bowl, fill the mushroom caps, sprinkle on some minced red bell pepper, cover the mushrooms with a blanket of mozzarella cheese slices, and bake. After 15 minutes you'll have a great appetizer or hors d'oeuvre for 4 to 6 people—that's twice the serving size of the dish from the restaurant.

Did you love this copycat Olive Garden stuffed mushrooms recipe? Check out more of my clone recipes here.

A requirement of any visit to Chicago is eating at least one slice of deep dish pizza in the city that perfected it. Deep dish pizza quickly became a Chicago staple after Ike Sewell and Ric Riccardo opened the first Pizzeria Uno in 1943 and served a hearty new style of pizza constructed in a high-rimmed cake pan. The yeast crust was tender and flakey, like a pastry, and the cheese was layered under the sauce so that it wouldn’t burn in a hot oven for the long cooking time.

While researching a home hack of this now-iconic recipe, I discovered an unexpected technique that I hadn’t seen in other deep dish recipes. Employees told me the pizza crusts are partially cooked each morning to cut down on the wait time for customers. Before the restaurant opens each day, cooks press the dough into a pan and then sprinkle it with a little shredded cheese. The shells are then partially baked and set aside. Later, when an order comes in, the pizza is built into one of the par-baked crusts and finished off. This way customers get their food faster, and the tables turn over quicker.

Copying that delicious, flakey crust was the task that took me the longest. After two weeks of baking, I finally settled on a formula that was a mash-up of yeast dough and pie crust and made a perfectly tender deep dish crust, with great flavor that exactly mimicked the original. If you like Uno, you will love this.

Regarding the cheese: be sure your cheese is at room temperature, not cold, or it may not melt all the way through. Also, it’s best if you buy cheese by the block and shred it yourself. Pre-shredded cheese is dusted with cornstarch so that the shreds don’t stick together in the bag, and it won’t melt as smoothly as cheese you shred by hand.

This recipe will make enough sauce for two pizzas. I just thought you should know that in case you get the urge to make another deep dish after this one disappears.

This recipe was our #4 most popular in 2019. Check out the other four most unlocked recipes of the year: Texas Roadhouse Rolls (#1) KFC Extra Crispy Fried Chicken (#2), Olive Garden Braised Beef Bolognese (#3), Bush's Country Style Baked Beans (#5).

Menu Description: "Quickly-cooked steak with scallions and garlic."

Beef lovers go crazy over this one at the restaurant. Flank steak is cut into bite-sized chunks against the grain, then it's lightly dusted with potato starch (in our case we'll use cornstarch), flash-fried in oil, and doused with an amazing sweet soy garlic sauce. The beef comes out tender as can be, and the simple sauce sings to your taste buds. I designed this recipe to use a wok, but if you don't have one a saute pan will suffice (you may need to add more oil to the pan to cover the beef in the flash-frying step). P. F. Chang's secret sauce is what makes this dish so good, and it's versatile. If you don't dig beef, you can substitute with chicken. Or you can brush it on grilled salmon.

I've cloned a lot of the best dishes from P.F. Chang's. Click here to see if I coped your favorite.

In the Bush’s Beans commercials, Duke, the family golden retriever, wants to sell the secret family recipe, but the Bush family always stops him. The dog is based on the Bush family’s real-life golden retriever, and the campaign, which began in 1995, made Bush’s the big dog of the canned baked beans market practically overnight. Their confidential baked beans formula is considered one of the top 10 biggest recipe secrets in the U.S.

Bush Brothers & Company had been canning a variety of fruits and vegetables for over 60 years when, in 1969, the company created canned baked beans using a cherished recipe from a family matriarch. Sales jumped from 10 thousand cases in the first year to over 100 thousand cases in 1970. And just one year later sales hit a million cases. Today Bush’s makes over 80 percent of the canned baked beans sold in the U.S., and the secret family recipe remains a top food secret, despite Duke’s attempts. A replica of the original recipe book—without the original recipe in it (drat!)—is on display at the company's visitor center in Chestnut Hill, Tennessee.

I chose to hack the “Country Style” version of Bush’s Beans because I don’t think the Original flavor has enough, uh, flavor. Country Style is similar to Original, but richer, with more brown sugar. The recipe starts by soaking dry small white beans in a brine overnight. The salt in the water helps to soften the skins, but don’t soak them for more than 14 hours or the skins may begin to fall off.

My first versions tasted great but lacked the deep brown color of the real Bush’s beans, which include caramel coloring—an ingredient that can be hard to find on its own. I eventually discovered that the “browning” sauce, Kitchen Bouquet, will add the dark caramel color needed to our home version of the beans so that they’ll look just like the real thing.

This recipe was our #5 most popular in 2019. Check out the other four most unlocked recipes of the year: Texas Roadhouse Rolls (#1) KFC Extra Crispy Fried Chicken (#2), Olive Garden Braised Beef Bolognese (#3), Pizzeria Uno Chicago Deep Dish Pizza (#4).

The easy-melting, individually-wrapped Kraft Cheddar Singles are a perfect secret ingredient for this Panera Bread broccoli cheddar soup recipe that's served at this top soup stop. In this clone, fresh broccoli is first steamed, then diced into little bits before you combine it with chicken broth, half-and-half, shredded carrot, and onion. Now you're just 30 minutes away from soup spoon go-time.

Click here for more of my copycat Panera Bread recipes.

A recipe for Portuguese sweet bread inspired the soft rolls that became a big hit at Robert Tiara's Bakery & Restaurant in Honolulu, Hawaii in the 1950s. It wasn’t long before Robert changed the name of his thriving business to King’s Hawaiian, and in 1977 the company opened its first bakery on the mainland, in Torrance, California, to make the now-famous island sweet rolls sold in stores across the U.S.

King’s Hawaiian Rolls are similar to Texas Roadhouse Rolls in that they are both pillowy, sweet white rolls, so it made sense to dig out my Texas Roadhouse Rolls clone recipe and use it as a starting point. These new rolls had to be slightly softer and sweeter, so I made some adjustments and added a little egg for color. And by baking the dough in a high-rimmed baking pan with 24 dough balls placed snugly together, I ended up with beautiful rolls that rose nicely to the occasion, forming a tear-apart loaf just like the original, but with clean ingredients, and without the dough conditioners found in the packaged rolls.

Use these fluffy sweet rolls for sandwiches, sliders, or simply warmed up and slathered with soft European butter.

This recipe was our #3 most popular in 2020. Check out the other four most unlocked recipes for the year: Rao's Homemade Marinara Sauce (#1), Olive Garden Lasagna Classico (#2), Pei Wei Better Orange Chicken (#4), Chipotle Mexican Grill Carnitas (#5).

This 220-unit downscaled version of P.F. Chang’s China Bistro targets the lunch crowd with a smaller menu that features bento boxes, bowls, and small plates. The bestseller on the menu is this orange chicken, which I have to say is pretty damn good orange chicken. Obviously, a clone is needed for this one, stat.

The name “Wei Better Orange Chicken” is a competitive callout to Panda Express's signature orange chicken, which is made with pre-breaded and frozen chicken. Pei Wei claims its orange chicken is prepared each day from scratch with chicken that is never frozen, so we’ll craft our clone the same way. But rather than assemble the dish in a wok over a high-flame fast stove like they do at the restaurant, we’ll prepare the sauce and chicken separately, then toss them with fresh orange wedges just before serving.

By the way, this dish goes very well with white or brown rice, so don’t forget to make some.

For two years after the first Olive Garden restaurant opened in 1982, operators were still tweaking the restaurant's physical appearance and the food that was served. Even the tomato sauce was changed as many as 25 times. It's that sort of dedication that creates fabulous dishes like this popular soup. It blends the flavors of potatoes, kale, and Italian sausage in a slightly spicy chicken and cream broth.

You've got the soup recipe, how about creating your own bottomless Olive Garden House Salad and Breadsticks? Find more of my Olive Garden clone recipes here!

Braised Beef Pasta Menu Description: “Slow-simmered meat sauce with tender braised beef and Italian sausage, tossed with ruffled pappardelle pasta and a touch of alfredo sauce—just like Nonna’s recipe.”

It’s a mistake to assume that a recipe posted to a restaurant chain’s website is the real recipe for the food served there. I’ve found this to be the case with many Olive Garden recipes, and this one is no exception. A widely circulated recipe that claims to duplicate the chain’s classic Bolognese actually originated on Olive Garden’s own website, and if you make that recipe you’ll be disappointed when the final product doesn’t even come close to the real deal. I won’t get into all the specifics of the things wrong with that recipe (too much wine, save some of that for drinking!), but at first glance it’s easy to see that a few important ingredients found in traditional Bolognese sauces are conspicuously missing, including milk, basil, lemon, and nutmeg.

I incorporated all those missing ingredients into this new hack recipe, tweaked a few other things, and then tested several methods of braising the beef so that it comes out perfectly tender: covered, uncovered, and a combo. The technique I settled on was cooking the sauce covered for 2 hours, then uncovered for 1 additional hour so that the sauce reduces and the beef transforms into a fork-flakeable flavor bomb. Yes, it comes from Olive Garden, but this Bolognese is better than any I’ve had at restaurants that charge twice as much, like Rao’s where the meat is ground, not braised, and they hit you up for $30.

As a side note, Olive Garden’s menu says the dish comes with ruffled pappardelle pasta, but it’s actually mafaldine, a narrower noodle with curly edges (shown in the top right corner of the photo). Pappardelle, which is the traditional pasta to serve with Bolognese, is a very wide noodle with straight edges, and it’s more familiar than mafaldine, so perhaps that’s why the menu fudges this fact. In the end, it doesn’t really matter which pasta you choose. Just know that a wide noodle works best. Even fettuccine is good here.

For the little bit of alfredo sauce spooned into the middle of the dish I went with a premade bottled sauce to save time. You can also make this from scratch if you like (I’ve got a great hack for Olive Garden’s Alfredo Sauce), but it’s such a small amount that premade sauce in either a chilled tub from the deli section or in a bottle off the shelf works great here.

This recipe was our #3 most popular in 2019. Check out the other four most unlocked recipes of the year: Texas Roadhouse Rolls (#1) KFC Extra Crispy Fried Chicken (#2), Pizzeria Uno Chicago Deep Dish Pizza (#4), Bush's Country Style Baked Beans (#5).

And browse my other Olive Garden clone recipes here.

Menu Description: "Made from scratch in our kitchens using fresh Grade A Fancy Russet potatoes, fresh chopped onion, natural Colby cheese and spices. Baked fresh all day long."

In the late sixties Dan Evins was a Shell Oil "jobber" looking for a new way to market gasoline. He wanted to create a special place that would arouse curiosity, and would pull travelers off the highways. In 1969 he opened the first Cracker Barrel just off Interstate 40 in Lebanon, Tennessee, offering gas, country-style food, and a selection of antiques for sale. Today there are over 529 stores in 41 states, with each restaurant still designed as a country rest stop and gift store. In fact, those stores which carry an average of 4,500 different items apiece have made Cracker Barrel the largest retailer of American-made finished crafts in the United States.

Those who know Cracker Barrel love the restaurant for its delicious home-style breakfasts. This casserole, made with hash brown-sliced potatoes, Colby cheese, milk, beef broth, and spices is served with many of the classic breakfast dishes at the restaurant. The recipe here is designed for a skillet that is also safe to put in the oven (so no plastic handles). If you don't have one of those, you can easily transfer the casserole to a baking dish after it is done cooking on the stove.

Love Cracker Barrel? Check out my other clone recipes here.

The talented chefs at Benihana cook food on hibachi grills with flair and charisma, treating the preparation like a tiny stage show. They juggle salt and pepper shakers, trim food with lightning speed, and flip the shrimp and mushrooms perfectly onto serving plates or into their tall chef's hat.

One of the side dishes that everyone seems to love is the fried rice. At Benihana this dish is prepared by chefs with precooked rice on open hibachi grills, and is ordered a la cart to complement any Benihana entree, including Hibachi Steak and Chicken. I like when the rice is thrown onto the hot hibachi grill and seems to come alive as it sizzles and dances around like a bunch of little jumping beans. Okay, so I'm easily amused.

This Benihana Japanese fried rice recipe will go well with just about any Japanese entree and can be partially prepared ahead of time and kept in the refrigerator until the rest of the meal is close to done.

Menu Description: "Delicate white cake and lemon cream filling with a vanilla crumb topping."

To make this clone easy I've designed the recipe with white cake mix. I picked Betty Crocker brand, but any white cake mix you find will do. Just know that each brand (Duncan Hines, Pillsbury, etc.) requires slightly different measurements of additional ingredients (oil, eggs). Follow the directions on the box for mixing the batter, then pour it into 2 greased 9-inch cake pans and bake until done. The filling recipe is a no-brainer and the crumb topping is quick. When your Olive Garden lemon cream cake recipe is assembled, stick it in the fridge for a few hours, and soon you'll be ready to serve 12 slices of the hacked signature dessert.

Braised and shredded pork shoulder is a staple of Mexican cuisine that Chipotle prepares with a simple blend of flavors, and a surprising ingredient you may not have expected: juniper berries. Once you track those down (they’re easy to find online), the berries are combined with thyme and bay leaves in a braising liquid that will transform your own pork roast into an easily shreddable thing of beauty in under 3 hours. Then you can use your freshly cloned carnitas on tacos, in burritos, or in a bowl over rice and beans just like they do in the restaurant.

When picking your pork roast, try to find one without too much fat. If your roast has a thick cap of fat on it, trim off the excess. You want some fat in your braising liquid, but if the cap of fat is too thick, it may not fully render down and you’ll get chunks of fat in the shred.

It’s often assumed that the pork butt is from the rear end of the pig, even though cuts from the back region already have a name: ham. The pork butt, also known as a Boston butt, is cut from the other end, the upper shoulder of the pig. It’s called a “butt” because in pre-Revolutionary War New England the roasts were stored and transported in barrels called “butts”, and the confusing name stuck.

To get their Extra Crispy Chicken so crispy KFC breads the chicken two times. This double breading gives the chicken its ultra craggy exterior and extra crunch, which is a different texture than the less crispy Original Recipe Chicken that’s breaded just once and pressure fried.

As with my KFC Original Recipe hack, we must first brine the chicken to give it flavor and moisture all the way through, like the real thing, then the chicken is double breaded and deep fried until golden brown. KFC uses small chickens which cook faster, but small chickens can be hard to find. If your chicken parts are on the large side, they may not cook all the way through in the 12 to 15 minutes of frying I’m specifying here. To be sure your chicken is cooked, start frying with the thickest pieces, like the breasts, then park them in a 300-degree oven while you finish with the smaller pieces. This will keep the chicken warm and crispy, and more importantly, ensure that they are cooked perfectly all the way through.

On my CMT show Top Secret Recipe I chatted with Winston Shelton, a long-time friend of KFC founder Harland Sanders. Winston saw the Colonel's handwritten secret recipe for the Original Recipe chicken, and he told me one of the secret ingredients is Tellicherry black pepper. It's a more expensive, better-tasting black pepper that comes from the Malabar coast in India, and you should use it here if you can find it. Winston pulled me aside and whispered this secret to me when he thought we were off-camera, but our microphones and very alert cameramen caught the whole thing, and we aired it.

I first published this hack in Even More Top Secret Recipes, but recently applied some newly acquired secrets and tips to make this much-improved version of one of the most familiar fried chicken recipes in the world.

This recipe was our #2 most popular in 2019. Check out the other four most unlocked recipes of the year: Texas Roadhouse Rolls (#1), Olive Garden Braised Beef Bolognese (#3), Pizzeria Uno Chicago Deep Dish Pizza (#4), Bush's Country Style Baked Beans (#5).


Ravioli recipes

Ravioli is a filled pasta encasing a variety of fillings from meats to cheeses to vegetables. Early versions of the pasta can be traced as far back as the Roman Empire, although it wasn’t until the Middle Ages that the ravioli we know today was first developed. In Emilia-Romagna ravioli are typically filled with ricotta e spinaci (ricotta and spinach), whereas in the small region of Molise, ravioli scapolesi is filled with sausage and chard. In northern Italy pumpkin ravioli is a popular pasta dish served in winter, traditionally eaten on Christmas Eve.

Browse this collection of ravioli recipes for some fabulous filled pasta inspiration, Gaetano Trovato has created a simple home-made ravioli recipe which uses a classic ricotta and spinach filling in his Ravioli with sheep's milk ricotta dish don’t worry if you don’t have a pasta machine as the pasta dough can also be made using a rolling pin. If you need any tips when making your home-made pasta recipe just follow our step-by-step guide. In Gaetano Trovato’s recipe for Mezzelune ravioli with artichokes, pecorino and thyme he forms his ravioli into semi-circular mezzelune (or half-moons). Lorenzo Cogo takes inspiration from the ingredients available in his garden for his Ravioli with garden trimmings and adds shavings of black truffle for a bit of added indulgence. If you are looking for the ultimate in ravioli luxury, look no further than Gaetano Trovato’s recipe for Ravioli with lobster, foie gras, potatoes and saffron. For a hearty pasta dish, Giorgio and Gian Pietro Damini have paired a meaty lamb broth with a creamy potato and ricotta ravioli filling in their Wild garlic and ricotta ravioli recipe.

Keen to experiment a little with your pasta skills? Aurora Mazzucchelli’s creative take on ravioli uses thinly sliced pieces of pineapple to encase a delicate ricotta filling in her Pineapple ravioli with ricotta and coffee caviar recipe.


12 New Ways to Makeover a Bag of Frozen Ravioli

Dinner has never been easier.Go beyond marinara sauce with these gourmet upgrades.

Officially only eating salads with ravioli on top from now on.

We came for the brown butter. We conquered.

Never has eating your peas looked so easy.

And by toasted we mean fried. Hibernation here we come.

BRB, gonna go curl up to these cheesy stuffed ravioli slathered in pistachio-herb butter.

Ravioli and meatballs get cozy in a skillet . under a blanket of cheese . and we are not mad about it.

This fiery semi-homemade meal is not for the faint of heart.

This recipe calls for ricotta, provolone and Parmesan, in addition to the main ingredient: cheese-filled ravioli.

This dish may sound fancy, but it features ingredients you probably already have in your pantry and freezer &mdash and you can make it in 15 minutes!



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