Sunday, April 25, 2010

Toasted Ravioli with Marinara Sauce

I'm not usually big on fried foods but I had a hankering for something crispy and cheesy. One Italian inspired appetizer I enjoy on occasion is toasted ravioli. Having this as an appetizer for my Pasta Party dinner was great since it featured how pasta doesn't always have to be the main course of a meal. In fact, I thought this Toasted Ravioli with Marinara Sauce rivaled versions found at restaurants!

What's great about this recipe is that it's easy to make, especially if you're going with the convience of frozen ravioli. If you're more ambitious (and have more time and energy) than me these days, you can certainly try your hand at making homemade ravioli and using that in place of frozen. Any filled ravioli would do too, not just cheese. As for the marinara, the recipe below makes a nice batch where you'll most likely have leftovers after the raviolis have been devoured. Feel free to use the leftover sauce over pasta, in baked casseroles or use as a dipping sauce for more ravioli, mozzarella sticks or even garlic bread!

Toasted Ravioli with Marinara Sauce
recipe adapted from AllRecipes

2 tablespoons whole milk
1 egg
3/4 cup Italian seasoned bread crumbs
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
1/4 teaspoon dried basil
1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
salt & pepper to taste
1/2 (25 ounce) package frozen cheese ravioli, thawed
2 cups vegetable oil for frying
1 tablespoon grated Parmesan cheese
Marinara sauce for dipping (recipe follows)

Combine milk and egg in a small bowl. Combine breadcrumbs and seasonings in a shallow bowl. Dip ravioli in milk mixture, and coat with breadcrumbs.

In a large saucepan, heat marinara sauce over medium heat until bubbling. Reduce the heat to simmer.

In a large heavy pan, pour oil to depth of 2 inches. Heat oil over medium heat until a small amount of breading sizzles and turns brown. Fry ravioli, a few at a time, 1 minute on each side or until golden. Drain on paper towels. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and serve immediately with hot marinara sauce.

Marinara Sauce
recipe adapted from AllRecipes

1 (28 ounce) can crushed tomatoes
1 (6 ounce) can tomato paste
4 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
1 clove garlic, minced
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
6 tablespoons olive oil
1/3 cup finely diced onion
1/2 cup white wine
In a food processor place Italian tomatoes, tomato paste, chopped parsley, minced garlic, oregano, salt, and pepper. Blend until smooth.

In a large skillet over medium heat saute the finely chopped onion in olive oil for 2 minutes. Add the blended tomato sauce and white wine.

Simmer for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Leftovers are great to use over pasta and can also be frozen.