Fried Ravioli with Tomato Dipping Sauce

By • January 10, 2016 0 Comments

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Author Notes: I was toying with ideas for bar food, for Game Night, and when I remembered my class in San Francisco and my mastery of deep frying in a regular 4-quart pot with a thermometer. And so this recipe was born.

The secret to making non-greasy fried foods is to use the right type of oil and to be sure the oil is hot enough. If you do this, the food is cooked quickly and very little oil is absorbed.

The easiest way to assure this is to use a deep fat thermometer. Also, you need to use the right type of oil. Select an oil that has a high smoking point. A high smoke point is important because heating oil to the point that it smokes is what makes frying unhealthy. When the oil begins to smoke, it produces toxic fumes and harmful free radicals. We don’t want free radicals, no political pun intended. I use grape seed oil which has a smoke point of 420 degrees and a neutral flavor. Don’t use extra virgin olive oil which has a smoke point of 320 degrees. You can also use canola oil (smoke point 400 degrees) or peanut oil (smoke point 440 degrees).

The other trick to making this into a dish that no one can resist is to be sure to use Panko breadcrumbs. Panko breadcrumbs are a Japanese style breadcrumbs made from crustless bread. The crustless bread is roughly ground into large flakes, which stay crisper longer because they don’t absorb as much oil. This is the other secret to non-greasy fried food. If you use regular breadcrumbs, you won’t get crispy ravioli.

I serve these with a homemade tomato sauce (see the recipe below) but you can use a store bought marinara sauce or even a chunky blue cheese or ranch salad dressing. I tasted this recipe using giant ravioli from Costco and gourmet ravioli from a fancier store. The Costco ravioli are hands down the best!

Even the next day or as a midnight snack, these are delicious. Someone I know, but I’m not naming names, even scarfed these cold.
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Serves at least 2 ravioli per person

FOR THE RAVIOLI:

  • 1 pound package large ravioli, refrigerated
  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 3 tablespoons whole milk
  • 1 1/2 cups Panko breadcrumbs
  • 6 tablespoons finely grated Parmesan cheese (3 for the ravioli, 3 more for serving)
  • 2 tablespoons fresh chopped parsley
  • 1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt
  • Grape seed oil

FOR THE HOMEMADE TOMATO SAUCE:

  • 3 cloves of garlic, crushed
  • 6 teaspoons olive oil
  • 2 pounds can Italian tomatoes, coarsely chopped or crushed
  • 1 tablespoon fresh basil
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  1. MAKE THE RAVIOLI:
  2. Combine beaten eggs and milk in a bowl. Place the flour on a sheet of wax paper or in a glass pie plate. Combine Panko breadcrumbs, Parmesan cheese, salt and parsley in a bowl and placed in a sheet of wax paper or pie plate.
  3. One at a time, dip the ravioli into the flour, shaking off extra, then into egg mixture, then into Panko breadcrumbs mixture. Place each ravioli on a baking sheet until each is coated with flour, egg, Panko mixture. I coat all the ravioli before I begin frying.
  4. Clip thermometer to side of heavy 4-quart sauce pan. Add 3 inches of oil. Heat over medium heat. When the temperature reaches 370 degrees, working in batches, drop 3-4 pieces at a time into oil.
  5. Cook, turning at least once until they are golden brown, 2-3 minutes per batch. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the ravioli to a plate lined with paper towels if serving immediately. Top with extra Parmesan cheese. (You can actually make these several hours ahead. If you do, place them onto a wire rack set into baking sheet and keep warm in a 200-degree oven.)
  6. Serve topped with extra parsley and homemade tomato sauce on the side.
  7. MAKE THE HOMEMADE TOMATO SAUCE:
  8. In a medium sauce pan, over low heat, cook the garlic until translucent. Don’t overcook or burn the garlic. Add the canned tomatoes with their liquid and simmer over low heat, covered, until most of the liquid has evaporated (30-45 minutes). The sauce should be very thick and chunky.
  9. Remove from heat. Stir in fresh basil. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  10. Keep sauce in refrigerator for 3 days or store in air tight container in freezer for up to 1 month.

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