Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Baked Ravioli

I had forgotten that in the Midwest, summer not only means high temperatures and heavy humidity but orange cones littered on every road. On Monday, my normal route to work was blocked because they are working on some railroads tracks, so I had to make a detour through a residential area and weave back and forth through the blocks to get to my parking lot. Today I thought I'd be smart and take a different route altogether into campus. On this route I pass, kid you not, 5 different sites of construction where two lanes merge into one. Of course, there is only a construction crew on one of the sites, but the others have the road torn up and are causing significant backups. So this week I'm 2/2 in late starts for work due to those blasted orange cones.

Okay, enough complaining. I guess I really should be happy because the temperatures are back to double digits and that means I can use my oven again. I've been trying to avoid it because my air conditioner has been working hard enough keeping the warmth from outside away.

I tend to have raviolis in my freezer for days that I need a quick and easy dinner without much thought. This recipe, however, takes the frozen ravioli from okay to gourmet (well, maybe not gourmet, but at least a suitable appetizer from a nice Italian restaurant). They are crunchy on the outside and full of melt-y cheese on the inside. I'm warning you now--- try super hard to let them cool for five minutes before you bite into them. If you don't, you may end up with a burned mouth (just like me :) ).

Baked Ravioli (adapted from How Sweet it is)
10-15 frozen cheese raviolis
3 tbsp egg white substitute (or 1 egg white)
1/8 cup whole wheat flour
1 cup panko breadcrumbs
1/4 cup breadcrumbs
1 1/2 tbsp shredded parmesan cheese
2 tsp dried parsley
2 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp dried basil
1/2 tsp garlic salt
one pinch each of salt and pepper
Marinara sauce, for dipping

Preheat oven to 450 F. Place a wire rack on a baking sheet covered with aluminum foil. Spray with cooking spray.

Beat egg white substitute in a bowl until fluffy. Combine the flour, panko, breadcrumbs, cheese and seasonings in a shallow bowl and mix.

Bring a pot of water to a boil and then add the raviolis. Boil for approximately 2 minutes (about half the recommended time on the package), and drain. Dump the raviolis into the bowl with the egg white and toss to coat. One at a time, remove the ravioli from the egg whites and dip into the breading, pressing to adhere. Place the ravioli on the wire rack. Spray the tops of the ravioli with cooking spray.

Bake for 15 minutes, until crispy. Don't worry they will most likely puff up a bit in the oven.

Serve with marinara sauce for dipping.

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