- The Washington Times - Wednesday, January 2, 2008

In her latest cookbook, Rachael Ray tweaks the traditional Caesar salad with the addition of fried fresh ravioli. Much as chicken can, fried ravioli offer a crunchy, chewy and hearty addition to this salad.

Good news for folks who shy away from raw eggs: Miss Ray’s Caesar dressing doesn’t use them. Instead, she gets tons of savory flavor from a blend of sauces and anchovy paste.

Caesar-ish salad and fried ravioli

This 15-minute recipe is from “Rachael Ray: Just in Time” (Clarkson Potter).

1 pound fresh large ravioli (any variety)

1 cup cornmeal

1 cup grated Parmesan cheese, or more to taste

Freshly ground black pepper

½ cup extra-virgin olive oil

Zest and juice of 1 lemon

1 large garlic clove, finely chopped

1 tablespoon Dijon mustard

1 teaspoon anchovy paste

1 teaspoon hot sauce

1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce

3 hearts of romaine lettuce, chopped

Bring a large saucepan of lightly salted water to a boil. Cook the ravioli. While the pasta cooks, in a small bowl whisk together the lemon zest and juice, garlic, mustard, anchovy paste, hot sauce and Worcestershire sauce. Stream 1/4 cup olive oil, whisking constantly. When the ravioli float to water’s surface, drain and set aside. On a plate, mix together the cornmeal, ½ cup of the Parmesan and plenty of pepper. In a large, deep nonstick skillet, heat remaining olive oil over medium high. Working in batches, dredge the drained ravioli through the cornmeal-and-cheese mixture, shaking off the excess.

Fry the ravioli in the oil until golden, about 2 minutes per side, then transfer to a paper-towel-lined plate to drain. Season the ravioli with salt.

In a large bowl, toss the romaine with the dressing (whisk again if needed), then season with pepper and the remaining cheese and toss again. Divide the salad among 4 large bowls and top with the fried ravioli.

Makes 4 servings.

ASSOCIATED PRESS

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