Thursday, September 4, 2008

Fried Ravioli

It’s been a while since I’ve written…that doesn’t mean it’s been a while since I’ve cooked! It just means I’ve been cooking up a storm without stopping to jot anything down.

First there was a baby shower, then a visit from the in-laws, and a few restaurants in between. There was zucchini bread, brownies, mini muffins and heart shaped butter. There was fried ravioli. There was 100 fried ravioli, grouped in twos, placed carefully in little takeout boxes.

And that’s where I’m going with this entry…fried ravioli. Usually when I make these, I use mini ravioli, but my mom did the shopping (and purchasing) this time, so no complaints from me. We’ve made these many times for guests, and there are never leftovers, but always compliments. Granted, I should make my own ravioli (and I promise, I’ll do that soon. Seriously. I swear.) But the store bought frozen variety just work so well.

The recipe comes from Giada DiLaurentis’ Everyday Pasta – a book that’s become a staple in my kitchen. It’s no Molto Mario, or Joy of Cooking, but it’s a reliable place to turn when company or winter weather are coming around the corner.

Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 cup buttermilk
2 cups Italian-style bread crumbs
1 box store-bought cheese ravioli (about 24 ravioli-small and large work well, but the large ones take a bit longer to cook. But then you probably knew that already.)
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan marinara sauce, heated, for dipping (optional)

Pour enough olive oil into a large frying pan to reach a depth of 2 inches. Heat the oil over medium heat until a deep-fry thermometer registers 325 degrees F.

While the oil is heating, put the buttermilk and the bread crumbs in separate shallow bowls. Working in batches, dip ravioli in buttermilk to coat completely. Allow the excess buttermilk to drip back into the bowl. Dredge ravioli in the bread crumbs. Place the ravioli on a baking sheet, and continue with the remaining ravioli. I recommend getting all the ravioli coated before you start cooking them.

When the oil is hot, fry the ravioli in batches, turning occasionally, until golden brown. Transfer the fried ravioli to paper towels to drain…I find it easiest to do this with tongs.
Sprinkle the fried ravioli with Parmesan (before they’ve cooled completely) and serve with a bowl of warmed marinara sauce for dipping.

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