in the kitchen: quick crispy ravioli

Is there anything yummier than ravioli?  Um yeah there is.  Ravioli coated in breadcrumbs and then lightly pan-fried.  YUM.  My only regret is that I don't have a picture to show you, because this stuff rocks.

The original recipe is here, but I served it with jarred pasta sauce instead since fresh tomatoes are so expensive right now and my hubby's not so much a fan (unless they've been pureed to a completely chunk-free sauce).  This is also a great recipe to try this week, since I noticed at Publix yesterday that Bertolli pasta sauce is on BOGO right now.  And you can substitute an 8-oz. package of Monterey Pasta Company whole wheat ravioli, also on sale at Publix this week.  And Betty Crocker's website has a $1 off coupon for the breadcrumbs you need for this recipe.  And you can also get Fresh Express bagged salad on BOGO this week, and grab a $1 loaf of French bread at Walmart to round out the meal.  So yeah, this dinner is some cheap eats.  Here's my adapted version:

The Ingredients.
2 tablespoons water
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1 cup panko breadcrumbs
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese (yes, the stuff in the can is fine)
1 9-oz. package of fresh ravioli (though you could probably use frozen if you thaw it out first)
3 tablespoons of olive oil, divided
Around 2 cups of jarred pasta sauce for serving

The Method.
1.  Combine the water and beaten egg in a shallow dish, and stir to combine.  Combine the panko and the cheese in another shallow dish, and stir to combine.  Dip each ravioli in the egg mixture, then dredge in the breadcrumb mixture.  {Tip:  I noticed that my panko got kind of soggy the more ravioli I dipped in it, and by the end it was very hard to get it to stick.  It's probably better to go ahead and mix the panko and cheese as directed, but only add a few tablespoons at a time as you're coating the ravioli so you're always working with dry crumbs.  Make sense?}
2.  Meanwhile, heat a large skillet over medium-high heat and add a tablespoon of the oil, swirling to coat.  Also, begin to warm up the pasta sauce in a separate pot on another burner (or else warm it up in the microwave when you're about to serve the ravioli).  Add one-third to one-half the ravioli (depending on the size of your skillet; it's best not to overcrowd the pan so the ravioli will brown like it's supposed to) in a single layer.  Saute a minute or two on each side or until golden.  Remove from pan and drain on paper towels (even if you don't use a ton of oil, this step really helps).  Repeat procedure with remaining ravioli and olive oil.  Serve with the pasta sauce either on top, or on the side as a dipping sauce.

Mmmmm.  Delicious.  This would also work as a fun appetizer for a party!  That layer of breadcrumbs packs a huge amount of flavor for very little additional bucks.  :o)  Enjoy.

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