As a featured publisher on Foodbuzz, I'm occasionally given opportunities to try out products and discuss them here on my blog. Most recently, the Tastemaker program sent out coupons for free Buitoni Riserva products for us to try, and with several flavors available, making a choice wasn't easy :) I opted for the simple Quattro Formaggi Agnolotti filled with ricotta, grana padano, parmesan, fontina and garlic. I knew up front that I wanted to fry these as opposed to boiling them the traditional way.
Fried Four-Cheese "Ravioli" with Arrabiatta Sauce
Serves 3 to 4 as an appetizer
1 9-oz package Buitoni Riserva Quattro Formaggi Agnolotti
1 T. olive oil, plus more for frying
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/8 tsp. red chili flakes
1/2 cup milk
1 1/2 cups panko bread crumbs (Italian style)
Salt and pepper, to taste
Start out by making the dipping sauce. Core and then score an X onto the bottom of the tomatoes, and then blanch them briefly in boiling water. This will help the skin peel off very easily. Immediately shock the tomatoes in an ice water bath afterwards.
Peel the tomatoes, cut in half or into quarters and then squeeze the juice and seeds into the garbage. Then dice up the tomato and set aside. Heat up about a tablespoon of olive oil in a small saucepan over medium-high heat, add the minced garlic and red chili flakes. Sauté for a couple minutes and then add the peeled, seeded, diced tomatoes. Season with salt and pepper. Cook over medium heat for about 15 minutes. The tomatoes will break down and get very soft. Use a potato masher to mush up the tomatoes further, and then cook for a few more minutes. The sauce is now ready to serve, so keep warm until ready to eat.
Next, for the fried "ravioli," beat the egg and milk in a bowl, and then in another bowl add the panko bread crumbs. I used Italian style panko, but you can use plain and then add some dried or fresh herbs for flavor if you like. Bread the "ravioli" in the egg wash, and then the panko, pressing down to make sure it coats nicely. I had exactly 13 agnolotti in my package, a baker's dozen :)
Fill a pot about 1/2 an inch deep with olive oil and then heat it to about 350 degrees F. Add the "ravioli" and fry on each side until golden brown. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on a paper towel-lined tray. Serve with the sauce for dipping! Yum!!!
I really enjoyed these piping hot morsels dipped in spicy and garlicky tomato sauce. I think the mixture of cheeses in Buitoni's Quattro Formaggi Agnolotti is perfect for frying, since it not only has the fluffy ricotta but also the great melting quality of the fontina, which works well in the high heat of frying this tasty appetizer. I'm sure it would be delicious served traditionally as well, boiled and topped with pretty much any sauce. A cheese filling lends well to so many added flavors! Thanks, Buitoni and Foodbuzz for letting me try out these delicious agnolottis :)