Not so long ago in St. Louis, Missouri a little joy spontaneously erupted. As legend has it, one of our many Italian-American chefs was in their kitchen, making ravioli the old fashioned way when--WHOOPS!--one fell into the deep frier. Yes, it's true. Serendipity turned her gorgeous visage our way and did bestow upon us the wonder that is now Toasted Ravioli .

Most often these are regular ravioli, stuffed with meat or cheese and lightly breaded. They are then fried or oven-baked for 10-15 minutes, which makes them crispy and finger-food-friendly. Sprinkle them with Parmesan and dip them in marinara sauce and before you can say "Grazie, Godfather" you're rolling around on the floor in heaven.

What could be better, huh?

St. Louis Toasted Ravioli

2 tbsps milk
1 lg egg, beaten
1 cup dry Italian-seasoned breadcrumbs
1 tsp salt
1/2 pkg frozen ravioli (meat or cheese-filled), thawed
4 cups vegetable oil
Grated Parmesan cheese
1 jar spaghetti or marinara sauce

Combine milk and egg in a small bowl. Place breadcrumbs and salt in a large freezer bag, shake gently. Dip ravioli into the milk and egg, coating it lightly. put coated ravioli into the freezer bag with the breadcrumbs, seal bag and shake until ravioli are covered.

Heat marinara sauce over medium heat in a saucepan.

In a large skillet, pour oil (2 inches deep, preferably) and heat over a medium flame. Fry ravioli lightly (1-2 mins on each side or until golden) Drain on paper towels or cooling rack and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese. Serve with marinara.

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