A quick and simple ravioli sauce that is ready in under 10 minutes. A creamy tomato sauce that is bursting with flavour, is an easy way to make store bought ravioli more exciting, for an easy weeknight meal with plenty of flavour. Just a few ingredients come together to make a really incredible sauce.
Once you can make a really good pasta sauce, you know you can have a delicious and comforting meal on the table in under 15 minutes. This thick and creamy sauce is perfect for serving with ravioli, but it will work with all types of pasta too. A restaurant quality sauce, without anything fancy, using ingredients you probably already have in your kitchen.
On busy weeknights, we need as many ideas for meals under 15 minutes as possible. Pasta is always our go to, but the usual spaghetti and sauce can get a little boring. So this is our new favourite for something that feels a bit fancy, but is actually really easy. Much cheaper than a jar of sauce, and tastier too!
Why you will love it
- Low calorie - This is a really creamy and indulgent tasting pasta sauce, but there is less than 100 calories per portion.
- Adaptable - You can easily adapt this ravioli sauce with different tomatoes, cheese and vegetables. You never have to have it the same way twice.
- Cheap - Store bought pasta sauce is really expensive for what it is. Making it yourself is much cheaper, and you can make exactly the amount you need, so there is no waste.
- Quick - This ravioli sauce only takes 10 minutes, so it's ready in the same time the ravioli takes to cook.
- Oil - We used a really good quality olive oil to cook the tomatoes in at the beginning.
- Passata - This is what makes up the majority of the sauce. Try to use the best quality you can, as you really taste the difference. You could a can of good quality chopped tomatoes instead.
- Cherry tomatoes - We love adding some halved chopped tomatoes to our sauce, as we like the chunky texture it gives it. You could swap it for chopped sun-dried tomatoes if you prefer, which have a more intense tomato flavour.
- Tomato puree - Not only does this help to thicken up the sauce, but it boosts the colour and the tomato flavour.
- Garlic - This is a must in pasta sauces in our opinion. We used garlic puree to save some time, but you could freshly crush it if you prefer.
- Cream cheese - This is what makes the sauce really creamy. You could use a garlic and herb cream cheese if you wanted to add some extra flavour. Use a good quality one, as the cheap ones tend to be really watery.
- Pasta water - Our "secret" ingredient in all pasta sauces and something that every Italian uses in their cooking. Adding a little bit of the starchy pasta water makes the sauce really silky smooth and cling to the pasta. It also loosens the sauce up a little, helping it go further.
- Spinach - We love anything that we can add leafy greens to and that's really easy to do with pasta dishes. You could swap it for kale if you prefer, but that doesn't cook as quickly.
- Oregano - An easy way to give a flavour boost to a pasta dish. You could use fresh basil instead.
A full ingredients list with measurements is in the recipe card below.
Step by step
One: Heat the oil and add the garlic and cherry tomatoes. Cook on a medium heat for 3 minutes.
Two: Add the passata, tomato puree, oregano and salt and pepper. Mix well and simmer for 2 minutes.
Three: Add the spinach, cream cheese and pasta water. Mix well and simmer for a further 2 minutes.
Four: Add ravioli and mix until it is all coated.
What we love about pasta sauces is how easy they are to adapt. Use this as the base and then adapt it with whatever you have that needs using up.
Instead of cream cheese, you could stir in some Parmesan or mature cheddar. You could even swap it for creme fraiche which would give it a lighter flavour.
You could fry up some other quick cooking vegetables with the tomatoes, like finely chopped bell peppers, courgette or aubergine.
We hold our hands up and admit that we "cheated" and used store bought ravioli. We used a really good quality pumpkin ravioli and it went perfectly with this creamy tomato sauce. You could make your own ravioli if you prefer, but it wouldn't be as quick and easy.
The kind of sauce to serve with ravioli depends on the type of ravioli you are using. If it is a meat filled one like bolognese or sausage, then a tomato sauce is best. Whereas if it is a cheese stuffed ravioli, then we like a creamy cheese sauce. This ravioli sauce is the best of both worlds, because it is creamy, but tomato based.
You can use this sauce on any pasta though, and it's also a really good sauce for a pasta bake. Have you tried our Chicken Pasta Bake?
What to serve it with
Once you have all this delicious sauce mixed with some ravioli, you need some side dishes. Garlic bread and pasta are the perfect match in our opinion. Either buy some ready made, or make your own easy garlic bread by cutting up some French stick and spreading it with a mix of butter, crushed garlic and dried herbs. Then pop it in the oven for 10 minutes.
You could also keep it simple with a big green salad. The key to an epic green salad is to use a variety of greens, like romaine, spinach, kale and rocket. You want leafy greens, but crunch too. Then you need the perfect dressing. Why not try our Lemon Vinaigrette, Honey and Mustard Dressing or Tomato and Basil Vinaigrette. You could also try our Grilled Little Gem Salad.
We like to sprinkle some fresh basil and grated parmesan on before serving to make it look even more delicious.
Frequently Asked Questions
Pasta dishes can definitely be part of a healthy and balanced diet, but portion control is key. You could swap the ravioli for wholegrain spaghetti and add some leafy greens for a nutrient boost. You can also use reduced fat cheese, but it will give the sauce a different texture and it won't be as creamy.
Yes, you can use any pasta you like with this recipe, but stuffed pasta like ravioli and tortellini work best.
Adding starchy pasta water (just 50ml is enough) to a fat like butter will create an emulsion and this gives a really silky smooth sauce and helps it cling to the pasta. Make sure you scoop out the water just before draining, as this ensures that it is nice and starchy.
If you have leftovers, then you can store it in an air tight container in the fridge until the next day.
You can reheat this in a frying pan on a low heat. Add a splash of full fat milk to the pan to loosen it up.
• Don't forget to take some water out of the ravioli pan before you drain it as this will make such a difference to your sauce. If you do forget, just boil some water in the kettle and add that.
• If you like your food spicy, then add a sprinkle of red chilli flakes on top before serving.
• Add a splash of olive oil to the pan before serving for an extra boost of flavour.
• Serve with extra Parmesan, fresh basil or parsley and cracked black pepper if you like.
More pasta sauce recipes
Easy Ravioli Sauce
- 1 teaspoon olive oil
- 1 teaspoon garlic puree
- 100 g cherry tomatoes - halved
- 250 ml passata
- 1 tablespoon tomato puree
- 1 pinch sea salt and black pepper
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 80 g spinach
- 75 g cream cheese
- 50 ml pasta water
- Heat the oil and add the garlic and cherry tomatoes. Cook on a medium heat for 3 minutes.1 teaspoon olive oil, 1 teaspoon garlic puree, 100 g cherry tomatoes
- Add the passata, tomato puree, oregano and salt and pepper. Mix well and simmer for 2 minutes.250 ml passata, 1 tablespoon tomato puree, 1 teaspoon dried oregano, 1 pinch sea salt and black pepper
- Add the spinach, cream cheese and pasta water. Mix well and simmer for a further 2 minutes.80 g spinach, 75 g cream cheese, 50 ml pasta water
- Add ravioli and mix until it is all coated.
- Don't forget to take some water out of the ravioli pan before you drain it as this will make such a difference to your sauce. If you do forget, just boil some water in the kettle and add that.
- If you like your food spicy, then add a sprinkle of red chilli flakes on top before serving.
- Add a splash of olive oil to the pan before serving for an extra boost of flavour.
- Serve with extra Parmesan, fresh basil or parsley and cracked black pepper if you like.