Recipe 7.4: Crispy Ravioli with Green Salad
We went to the Festival Italiano last Saturday. It was a fun time with lots of great people and good (but expensive) food. Rather than eat dinner there, I planned that we would go home and make an Italian feast of our own! By the time we ate this, we felt bad for the poor people who didn’t get to eat at our house. Make this meal, and you’ll never be the ones we feel bad for.
2 packages frozen ravioli
1 cup panko bread crumbs (I used wheat panko for the first time and really liked them – they were extra crispy! But you can use whatever you have on hand.)
8 tbs. olive oil, divided
1 large can crushed tomatoes
4 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 tbs. each dried basil, crushed red pepper flakes
1 tsp. each dried oregano, parsley
1 cup field greens, washed
1 tbs. basalmic vinegar
Begin with sauce. Heat large saucepan over medium heat. Add oil. Once heated, add garlic and red pepper. Allow to soften, then add can crushed tomatoes. Stir in basil, parsley, oregano, salt, and pepper (to taste). On this particular night, I also added a splash of white wine, since we had opened a bottle earlier in the day. Add wine (red or white) if you have it. If you don’t, that’s okay. You could sub a splash of red wine vinegar or just leave it as is. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to simmer and cover. Allow to simmer for at least 10 minutes. Leave covered and simmering until you are ready to serve.
Heat a large pot filled 3/4 way with water over high heat. Once water reaches boiling, add a pinch of salt and a splash of oil (this flavors the water and keeps your ravioli from sticking together). Reduce heat to a gentle boil. Lower ravioli into boiling water. Cook for just 2-3 minutes, then remove once ravioli just begin to rise to the top of the water. (You want to undercook them.) Drain ravioli.
While ravioli cooks, prepare breading station: 1 bowl with whisked egg, and 1 bowl with panko. Drop 1/2 the ravioli into egg; use a spoon to flip ravioli so that all sides are covered in egg, then use spoon to move ravioli into panko. Toss ravioli and press so the panko sticks. Move to plate. Heat a non-stick skillet over medium heat. Add 2 tbs. oil and heat. Place ravioli in a single layer around the skillet. Cook 3-4 minutes, or until crumbs are toasted, then flip. Move into medium bowl. Repeat with second 1/2 of ravioli.
While ravioli toasts, prepare salad. Plate greens and drizzle lightly with oil and vinegar. Sprinkle lightly with salt and pepper. Serve alongside ravioli and a bowl of sauce for each person. Rather than serve sauce over the top, I like to serve it separate so that you can dip the ravioli into the sauce as you like. Serve hot and enjoy your own little Festival Italiano!