Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Ravioli for a Crowd!

I've been in party mode and haven't really cooked "normal" for a while, so I thought I would share with you how I prepped for a recent party I had for 26 with the main course being 200 homemade ravioli.
Homemade ravioli holds a special place in my heart because I can remember my mom and aunt making them together when my cousins and I were very young, white sheets covering dining room tables and beds, filled with drying ravioli. Today I make them a little different, no more drying on sheets, instead they go right into the freezer after they're made.

All the ravioli were made a few days before and tucked away in my freezer ready for the big day, we made two different versions, meat and cheese.

Because I would be cooking so many ravioli at one time, there was no way I wanted to be boiling them while my house was filled with people, so I opted to make them the night before, something I've never done.

During the week prior to my party I went to a local restaurant supply store and bought commercial size heavy duty foil sheet pans, they were perfect to lay my ravioli on in a single layer.
They were huge and covered my whole oven rack, and even though I don't have a commercial size oven I made them fit by slightly folding up the sides.

All my sauce was cooked ahead of time so assembling was pretty easy. After spreading sauce all over the bottom of the sheet pans I placed my slightly undercooked ravioli on top, single layer, placing more sauce on top. After they cooled down I sprinkled grated Pecorino on top and covered the pans with heavy duty aluminum foil and placed them in my second fridge, ( it's older and has bigger shelves).

The day of the party I took them out of the fridge and got them to room temperature and with the foil still on, I baked them for only 15 minutes in a 350 oven until warmed through, after they were done I dolloped more warmed sauce on top and they were good to go! For a big crowd this was the perfect way to make them, no hot boiling pots all over the place, all that was done in advance.

Thanks to my family, all my dear cousins and their families for such a fun night!

So if you ever doubted cooking ravioli ahead of time for a large crowd like I did, no worries because it was a complete success!

Buon Appetito!

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