Ally's Sweet and Savory Eats: Baked Ravioli Lasagna + Our Journey to the Food Pantry #ranaraviolichallenge

Friday, March 20, 2015

Baked Ravioli Lasagna + Our Journey to the Food Pantry #ranaraviolichallenge




I was recently contacted by Giovanni Rana pasta about participating in a pasta challenge for National Ravioli Day...which is TODAY!  Any excuse to make a dish out of pasta and I'm in!

They encouraged us to gather our family or friends and serve them a Giovanni Rana pasta meal and that is exactly what I did.  We kept it simple with our immediate family {shh...that gave us leftovers!} and it was super tasty.

What is great about this challenge is that for each reader that uses the hashtag #ranaraviolichallenge on ANY of their social media platforms today {up to 3x}, the company will donate 1 lb. of pasta to the Northern Illinois Food Bank.

How cool is that?

So get to tweeting, posting and sharing!  #ranaraviolichallenge



I decided to do a spin on a lasagna, yet using ravioli instead of the typical lasagna sheets or noodles. It turned out to be a pretty fine idea.

This dish can be made with ANY store bought ravioli or sauce, but I used their Ravioli Cheese "Forte", a vibrant cheese blend including Parmigiano Reggiano and their Bolognese made of beef, pork and tomatoes.  I also added my own alfredo sauce so the lasagna could be "pink" when the sauces mixed together.

It worked!

Here's evidence of a good meal.  My 5 year old was definitely a fan.



The process was simple: layer in this order, alfredo sauce, ravioli, bolognese, ravioli, bolognese, parm, alfredo, parm and bake!

I baked this in a covered dish for 45 minutes at 375 degrees.  Really it just needs to heat through and get melty.  We served this with salad and breadsticks and it turned out to be a perfect meal.  And I had leftovers to freeze!  Double bonus.



So here is your challenge peeps.  Tweet this, pin this, share it on Facebook....whatever your little heart desires, just use the hashtag #ranaraviolichallenge, up to 3 times today.  For each time the hashtag is used they will donate 1 lb. of pasta to the Northern Illinois Food Bank.  Pretty great, huh?

And speaking of food banks, my kids and I, along with some of my girlfriends and their kids visited one last week.

Here is the back story.

Each year at Christmas my parents give the grand kids $10 each to pay it forward.  It is up to them to spend it how they want, they just need to do something for someone else.  This year was the first year my kids were involved {the two oldest}, as they are finally at an age where they understand the process.



As a family we decided to purchase some groceries for our local food pantry.  Our small town food pantry feeds 70-100 families twice a month.  No one is turned away and after these "open" times during the month their shelves are virtually bare.

They receive donations from churches, people like us and also rely heavily on local, larger food banks nearby.

We had our kids unpack the cars, bring in the donations and then unpack them again for the workers to sort and later shelve for the customers.  They were prompted with free chocolate, but all in all we think they understood what they were doing and why we were doing it.


It was humbling to see what people rely on month to month to feed their families.  Along with the rows of grocery store type shelving, they also have freezers full of frozen goods, meat, dairy and produce.

One of the volunteers told us a recent story that happened just this past winter.  He was one of the only volunteers to make it down during their open day, due to a snowstorm.  He ran into another guy on the street who had said he stopped a women walking in the snowstorm and asked her if she needed a ride, and frankly why she was out in the cold and snow.  She promptly answered, "I don't have any food to feed my kids".

She was walking to the food pantry.

That volunteer was so thankful he was able to get there that day to open it to customers.  If he hadn't her kids would have gone hungry, most likely for many days.



I guess the moral of this story is that when Giovanni Rana contacted me and told me about their challenge, I just knew I needed to take part.  At the very same time my family was partaking in a challenge of our very own.  To give back to our community in a simple way.

A few extra bucks at the store can mean the world to another family in need.

And so to celebrate National Ravioli Day, let us all take part in the Rana Ravioli Challenge. Do you have a few minutes to spare to share #ranaraviolichallenge via your social media channels?

I appreciate it, Giovanni Rana appreciates it, and the many families who will benefit from their donations will appreciate it.

#ranaraviolichallenge


I received free Giovanni Rana pasta samples for this post, but all opinions are my own.

13 comments:

  1. Oh my goodness, your son in that first picture, how heart melting!

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  2. steph@Been There Baked ThatMarch 20, 2015 at 7:19 AM

    I love everything about this, as a family we try to make a point to volunteer at our food bank at least a few times each year. It's a great way to get the kids involved too. We have a backpack program that sends a bag of food home with some children each Friday from school. That way they have food over the weekend. You just never know if some families might have access to much food otherwise.

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  3. What a great campaign and I love how you and your family visited your food pantry.

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  4. What a great thing! I love everything about it! Thanks for letting us share it and get more food in the hands of folks who need it! Sharing!

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  5. Your son is adorable! I think I would have cleaned m plate too! Your lasagna looks wonderful. Love this cause. Off to tweet!

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  6. What a great recipe AND post, Ally. Great opportunity. <3

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  7. Steph, the volunteers were telling us about the backpack program and how they are trying to get it started around here. Sad to think about, but so very beneficial to families in need.

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  8. Ally, your lasagna looks great and it is clear your son thought so too!

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  9. What a great idea for the donations to the food bank! Love that. Your lasagna looks terrific. Sharing this on my TSU page also.

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  10. Dear Ally, your son is adorable! This lasagna sounds like a winner. Wonderful post dear. xo, Catherine

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  11. I never thought to use ravioli for lasagna - genius!

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  12. Beautiful post. The recipe sounds delicious and I love seeing kids helping others.

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