1 pound mild sweet Italian sausage, casings removed
2 cups whole milk ricotta cheese
1/2 cup loosely packed fresh basil leaves, roughly chopped
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 1/2 pounds fresh 3 by 3-inch cheese ravioli
4 egg whites
2 cups store-bought marinara sauce
9 ounces shredded Italian cheese blend
Let's get Cooking...
Preheat oven to 400 degrees, and place an oven rack in the middle.
Prepare a springform pan by brushing the bottom and sides with 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Evenly coat the pan with half the breadcrumbs. Set aside until ready to use.
Heat the remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a large, stainless steel or cast-iron pan over medium-high heat. Add the sausage, breaking it up into smaller pieces as it cooks, 8 to 10 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, remove the sausage from the pan into a paper towel-lined bowl to drain of excess fat. Set aside to cool completely.
In a small mixing bowl, mix together the ricotta cheese, basil, salt and pepper. Set aside.
Bring a large pot of water to a boil over high heat. Add the ravioli and cook for 2 to 3 minutes. Carefully strain into a colander and rinse with cold water, separating any ravioli that are stuck together. Cool to room temperature.
In a large mixing bowl, whisk the egg whites. Drop in the ravioli in batches to evenly coat. (This will be the glue that helps the ravioli to stick to the pan and to each other.)
To assemble: Line the bottom of the prepared springform pan with a single layer of ravioli, flat side down. Line the sides of the pan with ravioli, tucking in the edges to help secure each piece. Spread 3/4 cup of ricotta cheese on top, and spoon on half of the cooked sausage. Top with 3/4 cup of marinara sauce and one-third of the cheese. Repeat with another layer of ravioli, ricotta cheese, sausage, tomato sauce and cheese. Top with ravioli. Sprinkle the remaining cheese on top, and top with the remaining breadcrumbs. Season with salt and pepper. Drizzle with olive oil.
Bake for 30 minutes until golden brown. Remove from the oven and cool for 20 minutes, or until the springform pan is warm to the touch. Carefully remove the side of the springform. Cut and serve.