Now marrying into an Italian family there are certain ‘tings you just don’t joke about.
- Having someone whacked.
- How there is at least 1 Vinnie or 1 Maria in the family.
- And pasta.
Pasta is meant to be al dente and covered with Italian Gravy. And ravioli is never, ever meant to be messed with.
yeah.. I apparently missed that last memo.
You see in my family we had a pizza shop where fried foods were a huge seller; deep fried ravioli being one of those big sellers. See one of the biggest things you want when you run a restaurant is the ability to use an ingredient in multiple ways. For example simple pizza dough you can transform into pizza puffs, deep fried donuts, calzones and so forth. So when it came to ravioli I set out on a mission to use it in a way other than with marinara.
One of my biggest downfalls at the pizza shop was mozzarella sticks. I love me some fried cheese. I mean who doesn’t? Well okay all of you that are lactose intolerant you don’t get to chime in here as well, you can’t eat it anyway. LOL Well then one day the sales rep came into the shop with a promotion he was trying to pimp – breaded ravioli for deep frying. Say what??? What the what?
Now truth be told I didn’t like those at all. I plead with my brother to just make our own out of the ravioli we already had. All we needed to buy were eggs and bread crumbs – not a big deal. I explained the concept of flash freezing but he said it was too much work. I ‘splained that it could be part of morning prep work but it fell upon deaf ears. Brothers…
Flash forward to Mr. Fantabulous and I living in our first house. It was pasta night (which if he could, it would have been every night). This particular night he wanted ravioli. One thing I have an issue with when it comes to pre-made ravioli is that when I feed him it, it’s not enough in a single bag to get 3 servings out. There’s too much for 2 servings but not enough for 3. No I’m not blaming the ravioli makers out there as most don’t eat like Mr. Fantabulous (thankfully). And at that time in our relationship I wasn’t making homemade ravioli yet.
So as I made him his plate of ravioli and marinara I had about 8 ravioli left in the bag. Definitely not enough for a portion and certainly not enough for a proper snack for him. Then I got that image of the fried ravioli we used to sell in the pizza shop. I didn’t make them that night as it was late and I didn’t want to smell up the house of fryer oil; I waited until the following day when I could have the windows open to help air out the house and enough time for the oil to cool down so I could dispose of it.
The next day I thought about how to coat these. Since they were already frozen I knew dipping them in flour wouldn’t work – it wouldn’t really stick. I opened up my fridge and spied some leftover buttermilk. Since I knew that was thick, that would be a great coating – wrong. I dunked one in the buttermilk then the bread crumbs only to have the breadcrumbs slide off into the oil.
Just like any home chef I whimmed it and whisked in an egg to the buttermilk to get it nice and thick. Then I coated the ravioli in the breadcrumbs and a few minutes later I was met with a golden brown, crispy fried ravioli.
Folks lemme tell you what – I ate all 7 of those at once. They were so good that I shut the oil off, put the egg mixture into the fridge and ran out to the store to get 3 more bags of ravioli. Cheese ravioli that is. Never meat; at least not in my house. I just don’t like the meat consistency in the ravioli. It’s weird.
So now fast forward to ravioli night at my house. I decided to serve it 2 ways – traditional and this way.
Um yeah.. imagine the look I got when I served these as an appetizer, Deep Fried Ravioli with Italian Gravy on the side! I’m lucky *I* didn’t get whacked! But I batted the baby blues and said ‘please’.. and the rest is history. I didn’t get whacked and Mr. Fantabulous still loves me 🙂
So if you’re tired of the same old same old, try this! You can use fresh pasta (preferably homemade ravioli) or in a pinch, frozen ravioli from the store.
- Vegetable or Canola Oil for frying
- 1 cup buttermilk
- 2 eggs
- 2 cups plain breadcrumbs
- 1 tsp oregano
- 1 box fresh ravioli or 1 bag frozen ravioli (thawed)
- Parmesan for sprinkling
- Marinara Sauce for dipping
- Add about 2” of oil into a large frying pan.
- Heat the oil over medium heat until a deep-fry thermometer registers 325 degrees F.
- As the oil is heating up, put the whisk the buttermilk and egg in a shallow bowl.
- Put the bread crumbs and oregano in a different shallow bowl, mix.
- Working in batches, dip ravioli in buttermilk to coat completely.
- Allow the excess buttermilk mixture to drip back into the bowl.
- Dredge ravioli in the bread crumbs.
- Carefully place the breaded ravioli in the hot oil and fry about 2 minutes per side.
- Remove with a slotted spoon and place on a paper towel lined plate to drain.
- While warm lightly sprinkle with salt and garnish with parmesan cheese.