Charlie Gitto's on the Hill in St. Louis The Original Toasted Ravioli

Charlie Gitto’s on the Hill in St. Louis The Original Toasted Ravioli

1/4 cup finely chopped onion
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tablespoon olive oil or butter
2 pounds ripe fresh tomatoes, peeled, seeded and cut up
2 tablespoons snipped fresh basil or 1 teaspoon dried basil, crushed
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 slightly beaten egg
2 tablespoons milk
1 16 - 20 - ounce package frozen meat-filled ravioli, thawed
2/3-1 cup seasoned fine dry bread crumbs
Cooking oil for deep-fat frying
Grated Parmesan cheese (optional)

Meanwhile, in a small bowl, beat together egg and milk. Dip each ravioli in egg mixture; then dip in bread crumbs to coat.
In a heavy 3-quart saucepan, heat 2 inches of cooking oil to 350 degree F. Fry ravioli, a few at a time, in hot oil about 2 minutes or until golden brown, turning once. Drain on paper towels. Keep warm in a 300 degree F oven while frying the rest.
For sauce: In a medium saucepan, cook onion and garlic in hot olive oil or butter until onion is tender. Stir in tomatoes, dried basil (if using), salt, and pepper. Cover; cook over medium heat about 10 minutes or until tomatoes are soft, stirring occasionally.
Uncover and stir in tomato paste. Bring to boiling; reduce heat. Simmer, uncovered, about 20 minutes or until mixture reaches desired consistency, stirring occasionally. Stir in fresh basil, if using. Cover sauce; keep warm.
To serve: Sprinkle ravioli with Parmesan cheese, if you like. Serve with warm sauce for dipping. Makes 12 to 14 appetizers.