Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Deep-fried ravioli with baked feta and pesto

Deep-fried ravioli - I must be going crazy right? 
I first got the idea to deep-fry the little pasta pockets when a memory came flooding back to me. It is one where my sister and I are sitting under the tablecloth of a table laden with fresh vegetables from my parent’s farm at a farmer’s market one chilly morning. We sat huddled together, stuffing sugary deep-fried pastries from a paper bag into our mouths. I loved those little morsels so much; they were crispy and sweet and so simple. The little old Italian lady who sold them each morning frugally kept the scraps leftover from her batches of fresh tortellini or fettuccini and transformed them into a delicacy by dunking them in hot oil and dredging them in icing sugar. I now know they’re called crostoli, but the memory gave me the idea to give filled pasta the same treatment (minus the sugar, of course). Then I discovered that everyone had been doing this already and nobody told me! So now, I'm sharing the joys of deep-fried pasta with you. 

I like to call this creation my posh chip ‘n dip because it’s fancy enough to look like you went to some effort, but doesn’t involve any form of kitchen slavery. Perfect with a glass of wine and good company to share it with.

Crispy ravioli bites with pesto-baked feta
Serves 4

2 slabs feta cheese, drained
Olive oil
3-4 springs thyme
4-5 garlic cloves, whole
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 tub Mediterranean Delicacies Basil Pesto
250g store-bought fresh butternut or cheese ravioli
Oil, for deep-frying

Preheat the oven to 180C.
Place the feta on a large piece of foil, drizzle with olive oil, a few sprigs of thyme and some whole garlic cloves, season well before wrapping up and baking for 10-15 minutes or until soft.

TIP You could easily do this on the braai - pop the foil parcel over the coals and you'll have a delicious warm dip in a few minutes. Oh, and don't forget to play around with flavours - chilli, smoked paprika, lemon zest - you get the idea...

Deep-fry the ravioli in hot oil (about 180C) until golden brown and crisp, then drain on paper towel. 
Serve the warm feta drizzled with lashings of basil pesto and the crispy ravioli for dipping.

*This post has been sponsored by Mediterranean Delicacies who make a fabulous range of yummy pesto, dips, phyllo pastry, olives and other delicious Med-style goodies. 

{GIVEAWAY} Mediterranean Delicacies are giving away TWO Morphy Richards Induction Cookers! Follow this link to enter their latest competition.

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