This Toasted Ravioli recipe seems like it would take awhile to prepare, but you can cut the time by using purchased marinara sauce. My kids prefer the sauce for dipping so that get’s me off the hook! But in the summer when I have fresh tomatoes and basil just a few steps out the back door, I can’t help but take advantage… and the fresh basil amps up the taste of the sauce. This dish does not disappoint! The version photographed is St. Louis Style.
Tomato dipping sauce
1 Tbsp. olive oil
1 garlic clove, minced
1 c. pureed tomatoes, canned or fresh
¼ tsp. red pepper flakes
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
2 Tbsp. finely chopped fresh basil
Ravioli (see optional version at end)
2 (9 oz.) packages miniature cheese or beef ravioli
Olive oil (for stacking)
Vegetable shortening for frying
Salt to taste
Prepare the sauce. (or use jar of pre-prepared marinara)
In a large nonreactive saucepan over medium heat, heat the olive oil.
Add the garlic and cook stirring about 20 seconds or until fragrant.
Stir in tomatoes.
Add the red pepper flakes and season with salt and pepper.
Reduce the heat and cover the pot and cook the sauce for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Stir in the basil.
Remove the sauce from the heat; cover the pan and keep the sauce warm.
Prepare the ravioli.
In a large pot of boiling water, cook the ravioli until nearly al dente. Drain and rinse under cold water to stop the cooking.
Drizzle a large plate with some of the olive oil and put one later of ravioli on it. Drizzle these ravioli with additional olive oil and top with another layer. Continue layering.
Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 200° F.
Line a platter with paper towels.
In a large skillet with high sides over medium high heat, melt ½-inch vegetable shortening.
When the shortening is hot but not smoking, add ravioli, taking care not to overcrowd the pan.
Fry about 2 minutes, or until lightly golden.
Drain the ravioli on paper-towel-lined pan and season with salt. Transfer to a heatproof serving platter and keep warm in oven. Repeat until all ravioli is fried.
St. Louis Style Ravioli
2 Tbsp. milk
1 egg, lightly beaten
¾ c. Italian bread crumbs
1 Tbsp. grated Parmesan cheese
Combine the milk and the egg in a bowl.
Dip each ravioli in the milk/egg mixture and dredge through the bread crumbs.
Fry as in above recipe.
Drain the ravioli on a paper towel and immediately sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.