Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Dinner Party: Crostini Alla Romana & Toasted Ravioli

Crostini Alla Romana
from Food Network

Crusty bread, salty prosciutto, melty mozzarella... what more could you ask for?

12 1/2 slices baguette or ciabatta
12 thin slices prosciutto
1 pound fresh mozzarella, cut into slices

1. Preheat oven to 375. Bake slices of bread until crispy and golden around the edges, about 8 minutes. Place prosciutto slices and mozzarella on the crostini and return to the oven to melt the cheese, about 8 minutes more.

I think next time I will improve this by doing 2 things. First, I will prebake the crostini for about half the time - after baking for a total of 16 minutes the bread was almost too crunchy, and was a little painful to eat. Secondly, I will use more of both the prosciutto and the mozzarella, so we will have more flavor from the toppings and less of the bread. The recipe from food network also includes a sage butter for drizzling, which I opted not to make because I ran out of time. Including the sage butter may also improve the dryness of this crostini.

Toasted Ravioli
from Cookbook Confessions

These tasty little numbers were a huge hit. Crispy on the outside, soft, gooey cheese on the inside, and the perfect size for an appetizer... 2 bites and you're done. They paired well with both marinara and alfredo sauces for dipping, as well. If you plan to make these for a dinner party like I did, plan to make a lot... these guys go fast!

2 tablespoons whole milk or buttermilk
1 egg
1/4 cup Italian breadcrumbs
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 package refrigerated ravioli
3 cups vegetable oil for frying
1 tablespoon Parmesan cheese
marinara and/or alfredo sauce for dipping

1. Combine milk and egg in a shallow bowl. Place breadcrumbs and salt in a shallow bowl. Dip ravioli in milk mixture, then coat with breadcrumbs.
2. In a large heavy pan, pour the oil to a depth of 2 inches. Heat oil over medium heat until a small amount of breading sizzles and turns brown when added. Fry ravioli, a few at a time, 30 seconds - 1 minute per side or until golden. Drain on paper towels.
3. In the microwave or on the stove, heat desired sauce for dipping. Sprinkle the ravioli with Parmesan cheese and serve immediately with the hot dipping sauce.

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