Secret Recipe: Spaghetti Bros.' Toasted (Actually Deep-Fried) Ravioli

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Though they're officially called 'toasted raviolis' on the menu at new Marina eatery Spaghetti Bros., these delicious pockets of pasta and cheese are actually deep-fried. According to Chefs Erik Lowe and Aaron, they're a St. Louis specialty, and they taste very similar to fried mozzarella sticks (in the best way possible). There's some leg work involved in making these at home— the ravioli dough and marinara sauce are both made from scratch— but you'll savor every moment. Try it out over the upcoming three-day weekend. 


Toasted Ravioli with Marinara

Serving size: 20 raviolis total

Ravioli Pasta Dough

90 g or ½ c 00 flour

30 g or ¼ c semolina flour

85 g egg yolks (about 5)

4 g or 1 tsp salt

4 g or 1 tsp extra virgin olive oil

Ravioli Filling

5 oz ricotta, drained through a cheesecloth (about ¼ c + 2 tbsp)

1/3 cup soft goat cheese

1/3 cup Parmesan, grated

1 egg

pinch tsp salt, must be fine like Baleine

2 tsp oregano, chopped

Marinara Sauce

3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

3 tbsp garlic, smashed, chopped, and salted

1 cup white wine

1 10-lb cans crushed tomatoes

1 tsp salt

2 sprigs oregano

2 sprigs basil

1 tbsp hot sauce

Ravioli Breading

1 egg

1 cup milk

½ cup flour

4 c breadcrumbs

1 tbsp fresh oregano, chopped

Oil for frying

Maldon salt

Parmesan for grating

Basil for garnish

To make the pasta dough:

1. In a food processor, combine all the ingredients and pulse until the dough starts to form a ball. 

2. Wrap in plastic wrap and place in the fridge for 24 hours.

To make the raviolis:

1. First make the filling by mixing all the ingredients together. Set aside.

2. Roll out the pasta dough by cutting it into 3 equal pieces. Cover pieces with plastic wrap to keep from drying out.

3. Set pasta machine to widest setting. Flatten 1 dough piece into a rectangle and run through the machine. Fold in half (end to end) and run through again.

4. Continue the process, narrowing the setting of the machine after every 2-4 passes and dusting the dough with flour to keep from sticking. Run the dough through the machine until it reaches about 1/16 inch thick.

*** Alternatively, use a rolling pin and roll until reaching the 1/16 inch thickness.  Cut in half. Place pasta sheet on a lightly floured work surface; cover with plastic to keep from drying. Repeat with remaining pasta pieces.

5. Drop heaping teaspoons of filling 1 ½ inches spaced apart onto a strip of dough.

6. Brush dough with water around each mound.

7. Top with second dough strip; press around each mound to seal.

8. Cut each ravioli into 2-inch squares and crimp with a fork.

9. Place on a floured baking sheet and cover with kitchen towel to keep from drying out.

10. Repeat with remaining dough and filling. There should be approximately 20 raviolis.

To make the marinara sauce:

1. In a medium frying pan over medium-high heat, sauté the garlic in olive oil until golden.

2. Add the white whine and let reduce by half before adding the tomatoes.

3. Use some water to rinse out the tomato cans and add the liquid to the pot (app. ½ cup).

4. Let simmer rapidly for 10 minutes, the sauce should thicken.

5. Season to taste, mix in the herbs and hot sauce, then remove from the heat.

*** Marinara will last a week in the refrigerator.

To fry the raviolis:

1. Pour oil into a large cast iron skillet so that it comes 1” up the sides.

2. Heat the oil to 375°F (note: if the oil is too hot, the raviolis will rupture). 

3. Line up three plates. In the first plate, add the flour. In the second plate, combine the eggs and milk. In the third plate, mix the breadcrumbs with the oregano.

4. Dip raviolis in the flour, followed by the egg mixture, ending with the breadcrumbs.  Be sure a liberal layer of breadcrumbs stick to the exterior.

5. Add the raviolis to the hot oil, about 9 per batch (crowding the pan will cause the oil to cool leading to soggy rather than crispy raviolis).

6. Fry each ravioli until dark golden brown, about 1 minute, turn over and continue to fry on the other side, another minute longer.

7. Remove from the fryer and place on a paper towel-lined plate.  Season with Maldon salt.

To serve:

1. Ladle a marinara sauce onto a plate.

2. For an appetizer size, place 4 raviolis on the plate, shave Parmesan on top, and finish with a few basil leaves. 

Omar Mamoon is the founder of Dough & Co.

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