Toasted Ravioli Salad with Creamy Marinara Dressing
Toasted ravioli was one of my favorite appetizers growing up. As the name contradicts, it's actually deep-fried, and it's the perfect cheesy-chewy topping to a big green salad. Deep-fried thing + leafy greens = my favorite form of balance.
a stand mixer pasta attachment or a table pasta roller; a ravioli stamp; a deep-fry thermometer
For the dough: Place the flour on a large work surface. Make a well and add the eggs, olive oil and salt in the center. Using a fork, whisk the egg mixture, slowly incorporating the surrounding flour into the egg mixture until all the flour is mixed in. Use your hand to combine the rest of the dough. Knead, sprinkling extra flour on the work surface if the dough is sticking, until the dough is smooth and elastic and the center springs back when poked, about 10 minutes. Form the dough into a ball. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and let it rest for 1 hour.
For the filling: Meanwhile, heat the spinach in the microwave just until the spinach is warm, about 1 minute. Strain the spinach, then place the spinach inside a clean kitchen towel and wring out all the excess liquid. Add the spinach to a bowl along with the mascarpone, mozzarella, salt, garlic powder and egg and mix to combine.
Set a stand mixer pasta attachment or a table pasta roller attachment to the widest setting. Cut the dough in half and keep one half covered as you work with the other half. Flatten out the dough you are working with, adding a little bit of flour as you flatten. Feed the flattened dough through the pasta attachment once, catching the dough with the back of your hands. Add a little more flour and fold the pasta in thirds. Flatten the dough down and run it through the widest setting 2 more times. Then run the dough through each setting, decreasing the number each time you add the dough until you get to the thinnest setting. Your dough is now ready to be molded into raviolis.
Cut the pasta sheet in half and drop teaspoon-size dollops of filling over the dough, spacing them 1 inch from the edges and 2 inches apart from each other. Brush water around the perimeter of the pasta. Place the other half layer of pasta on top. Press down and around the filling, taking care to get the air out and seal the filling in. Use a ravioli stamp to cut the pasta. Place each piece on a parchment lined pan. If you do not have a ravioli stamp, use a knife to cut squares around the filling and use the prongs of a fork to seal the pasta all the way around the filling. Repeat with the other half of the dough.
Heat enough canola oil so that it comes to 2 inches up the side of a high-sided pan to 350 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with a rack.
Dip each ravioli in the milk and shake off the excess. Dredge in the breadcrumbs and place back on the a parchment lined sheet pan. Fry in batches, without crowding the pan, around 2 minutes on each side. Remove from the oil using a spider or a slotted spoon. Place on the lined baking sheet to drain and immediately sprinkle with salt.
For the creamy marinara dressing: Mix the marinara and ranch in a bowl, then set aside.
For the salad: Combine the romaine, onion, tomato, olives and some Parmesan in a large bowl, then add a little dressing and toss to combine. Plate and add the desired amount of toasted raviolis, a drizzle of more dressing and more Parmesan.