Friends, Final Four and Fried Ravioli

Appetizers, Final Four, Fried Ravioli, Party Planning

The Final Four basketball games are this weekend, and I am sure many people are having friends over to watch the excitement. At my house, that means finger foods and heavy appetizers, including my fried ravioli.  IMG_0887

I stumbled upon this decedent first course after throwing it together for an impromptu potluck dinner with friends a few weeks ago. The host was making the main dish, someone else was given the salad duties, and I was asked to bring an appetizer. Since I knew we were eating Italian food, I wanted to make sure whatever I brought went with the meal.

I didn’t have time (or the desire) to run to the store. I checked my refrigerator and pantry and realized I had some ravioli that I hadn’t used for one reason or another. I also had eggs, breadcrumbs, half and half and oil, so I decided to try my hand at fried ravioli. Even though I’d never made it before, I figured it couldn’t be that difficult.

I was right! It was easy and delicious. Everyone loved it, especially the children. They didn’t even seem to notice they were eating artichoke-filled ravioli. One of the great things about this recipe is that you can use any type of fresh ravioli. Try it with traditional cheese or meat, or branch out and use a vegetable-filled pasta.

By fresh, I mean “not frozen.” You don’t have to make homemade pasta, but you do need to purchase the ravioli you see in cold cases, like Buitoni or something similar from your local grocery store. You also want to look for medium to large ravioli because the small ones don’t have enough filling to hold up against the breading.

Really happy with the results, I’m adding this fried ravioli recipe to my appetizer rotation. I used some vodka sauce I had leftover as the “dipping” sauce, but you can use any marinara or jarred tomato sauce. This recipe isn’t Paleo, and it isn’t very healthy, but we all deserve a little indulgence now and then, especially during March Madness.

Supplies

A candy or baking thermometer. If you’re looking for a good one, click here.

Ingredients     IMG_0867

10-14 large ravioli

1/2 cup Italian breadcrumbs

1/3 cup panko breadcrumbs

1 egg, beaten

1/2 cup half and half (milk can be used as a substitute)

1/2 cup marinara or tomato sauce

Vegetable oil

Salt

Cooking

In a medium to large shallow pot, add enough oil to reach a depth of 2”. Turn heat to medium-high and heat to 325 degrees. *Tip: If you don’t have a thermometer, then you can test the oil by tossing in a small piece of bread. If it doesn’t bubble much, then the oil isn’t ready. If it bubbles quickly and browns the bread within 5 seconds, then it’s too hot. 

Combine the egg and half and half in one bowl, and combine the Italian and panko breadcrumbs in another.

Dip each ravioli into the egg and half and half mixture, and then dredge in the bread crumbs, being sure to coat completely.

When the oil is ready, fry the ravioli in batches. Be careful not to overcrowd the pot. Gently turn them until golden brown, about 3 to 4 minutes. Use a slotted spoon to transfer the hot ravioli to paper towels to drain excess oil. Sprinkle with a little salt.

Serve with tomato sauce of your choice.

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