Kitchen Adventures: Fried ravioli, what's not to love?

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Food column by Becca Owsley

By Becca Owsley

One of my favorite things to do is try a dish at a restaurant and then attempt to reproduce it at home. Sometimes I get pretty close; other times it’s a massive failure.

On a trip to Olive Garden several years ago, I tried fried ravioli. It quickly became one of my favorites.

A frequent stop on vacations in Gatlinburg is an Italian restaurant called Best Italian. One of its appetizers is the best fried ravioli you’ve ever put in your mouth.

Because of these two wonderful food experiences, I decided to try the dish on my own. My result isn’t exactly the same as what you’d get at these restaurants but is similar.

Start with a bag of frozen cheese ravioli. You can use any kind but I think cheese ravioli works best when you fry it. I’ve found two different styles in the grocery freezer located near the bread products. One is a square kind that looks like traditional ravioli and the other is a smaller round kind. Both work well.

Take out your electric skillet and cover the bottom with extra virgin olive oil. It doesn’t have to be a lot, but just enough to fry the ravioli. You also can do this in a deep fryer and would use more oil.

Once the oil gets hot, drop in the ravioli. Be careful with this step. If your ravioli is straight out of the freezer, it could carry some  ice crystals on it which will cause the oil to pop and burn you.

Cook until that side is a gold-ish brown. Flip and fry the other side.

Make sure you don’t cook the ravioli too long. It can become too chewy if overcooked. Cheese may seep out the sides of the pasta while cooking.

When they are finished, remove from the oil and drain on a paper towel.

To plate these delectable fried treats, I often put cooked spaghetti sauce in the bottom of a pasta bowl and then place the ravioli on top of the sauce. Then sprinkle the top with graded parmesan cheese and Italian spices.  

The dish is served warm and can be used as an appetizer, party food or served as a meal paired with a fresh salad.

Because it’s become a favored dish, I usually keep some frozen ravioli on standby in the freezer. It’s a quick meal and tasty at the end of a long day.

Becca Owsley can be reached at 270-505-1741 or bowsley@thenewsenterprise.com.