Fried Ravioli with Marinara Sauce

I can get my kids to eat almost anything that is fried. So I try to sneak in healthy food somewhere in the process. The Raviolis are cheese and spinach and the marinara sauce has a few extra veggies added to give it just a little something special.

Marinara Sauce:

1/2 c. extra virgin olive oil
2 small onions, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
2 stalks celery, finely chopped
2 carrots, peeled and finely chopped
1/2 tsp salt or to taste
1/2 tsp pepper or to taste
2 (32 ounce) cans petite diced tomatoes
2 dried bay leaves

1 (9ounce) pkg frozen ravioli
2 eggs
1/2 c. milk
2 c. Italian style bread crumbs
1/2 c. Parmesan cheese
vegetable oil for frying

Finely chopped all veggies. ( I like to use my food chopper from pampered chef )
Heat the oil over medium-high heat
Add the onions and garlic and saute until the onions are translucent, about 10 minutes. Add celery,carrots and salt and pepper. Saute until all the vegetables are soft, about 10 minuets.
Blend one 32oz can of tomatoes in blender. You can blend both cans if you don't like chunks.
Add tomatoes and bay leaves, and simmer uncovered over low heat until the sauce thicken, about 1 hr.

Bring water to a boil over high heat and cook ravioli for 2 minutes.
Place cooked ravioli on paper towels to drain; set aside.

Pour enough olive oil into a large frying pan to reach a depth of 2 inches. Heat the oil over medium heat until a deep-fry thermometer registers 325 degrees F.
While the oil is heating, whisk the milk and eggs in a bowl and mix together the bread crumbs and Parmesan cheese in a separate bowl.

Working in batches, dip ravioli in egg mixture to coat completely. Allow the excess mixture to drip back into the bowl. Dredge ravioli in the bread crumbs. Place the ravioli on a baking sheet, and continue with the remaining ravioli.

When the oil is hot, fry the ravioli in batches, turning occasionally, until golden brown, about 2-3 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the fried ravioli to paper towels to drain.

When your sauce is thickened remove and discard the bay leaves. Season the sauce with more salt and pepper, to taste. ( The sauce can be made 1 day ahead. Cool, then cover and refrigerate. Rewarm over medium heat before using.)
For something a little more decadent. In a small sauce pan add 2 c. marinara sauce and 1/2 c. cream.

Let heat through and serve.

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