Of all of the pastas, ravioli is probably my favorite. Perfectly al-dente noodles holding together whatever delicious filling you’ve concocted, swimming in a delicious sauce. Yes. It’s fatal flaw? It’s impossible to eat on the go. So when a friend’s mom introduced me to fried ravioli (toasted, she called them, “because fried implies fattening and no good Italian would speak such blasphemy”) a few years ago, I was instantly obsessed. See ya, restrictive bowl and utensils.
To this day, I still love fried ravioli for the exact same reasons: it’s only as involved as you want it to be; it’s an incredibly easy dish to serve to picky people; and, you get all the goodness of traditional ravioli AND THEN SOME. I like to buy my ravioli (it MUST be fresh, not dried or frozen) when I’m having a crowd over, and I’ll get at least 3 different flavors so that there’s plenty of options for all of my guests. I like to stick to one sauce (usually my favorite easy tomato sauce) to accompany the different ravioli flavors, though if you wanted, you could buy (or make!) one kind of ravioli and serve it with 2 or 3 dipping sauces.
I’ve looked through many fried ravioli recipes and was shocked that none recommended a quick flour dredge prior to egging and bread-crumbing the ravioli – and most recipes actually went with a milk dunk instead of an egg wash. I personally believe the 3-stage breading process is the most successful in keeping the breading firmly attached to the food, so I went ahead and gave my ravioli a toss in some flour before egging it. If that’s not your thing, then skip the flour. I just think it works a lot better this way.
You’re probably thinking, “hey… those raviolis look way puffier than they’re supposed to.” Well, yes, they are puffy. But, no, it doesn’t matter. The filling released steam as it heated up, and the breading prevented the steam from escaping, trapping it inside the ravioli and causing them to puff up. The puffage had absolutely no impact on the flavor. If it really bothers you, I suppose you could use a toothpick to poke small holes in your ravioli… but you’d risk letting oil seep in. And really? You want to pole holes in 40 raviolis? I’ll keep my puffs, thank you very much.
What’s a little double-dipping between friends?
- 2 packages fresh ravioli (flavor and brand of your choice)
- 1 C all purpose flour
- 2 eggs, lightly beaten
- 2 C breadcrumbs (I like Panko)
- 1/2 C grated parmesan cheese
- 1 1/2 tsp kosher salt (1 tsp table salt)
- 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
- Vegetable oil
- Mise en place, and read this recipe all the way through.
- Lay out 3 large dishes, one after another. Fill the first with the flour, the second with the 2 eggs, and combine the breadcrumbs, parmesan, salt, and pepper in the third.
- Lightly dredge each ravioli in the flour (I toss each one gently between my hands to shake off the excess), then dunk in the egg, then the breadcrumb mixture. I like to press the breadcrumbs into the ravioli and flip it over a few times to ensure that each ravioli is well-coated.
- Transfer the breaded ravioli to a baking sheet and repeat the breading process until all are breaded.
- Set a large, nonstick skillet over medium heat and add vegetable oil until it is 1/4 inch high. Let the oil heat until it starts to shimmer (about 10 minutes).
- Using tongs, carefully transfer as many raviolis as can fit in your pan without overcrowding - I usually got 8-10 in. Cook until golden brown on the first side, about 3-5 minutes, then flip, and cook until golden on the second side, another 3-5 minutes. Don't be afraid to move the raviolis around in the pan if you notice hot and cold spots; you want them to be evenly cooked.
- Transfer the cooked ravioli to a wire rack set over a baking sheet that has been lined with newspaper or paper towels (to help wick away excess oil). Place in a 200 degree oven to keep warm while you continue to fry the rest of the ravioli.
- Serve with warm basic tomato sauce and dunk away!
I found it most efficient to flour all of my ravioli and set them on a baking sheet until I was ready for them.
I served mine with basic tomato sauce
You can easily freeze these; just arrange cooled cooked ravioli in a single layer on a baking sheet and freeze 2 hours, then transfer to a freezer bag for storage. To reheat, bake at 375 10-15 minutes.
Happy eating! Let me know what creative combinations you come up with in the comments below 🙂