Air-fried ravioli and tortellini is now one of my favorite foods, having had deep-fried when we used to eat out decades ago. Finding it was very hard. I kept meaning to try making this at home and never got around to it.
Our daughter, son-in-law and two grandsons came up last December to help my husband and I out for a bit. My oldest grandson stayed behind after the rest of the family left to help my husband with his tougher chores for a while. My grandson mentioned his dad wanted to get my daughter an air-fryer for Christmas.
Eh. I eat very little fried foods, preferring to make baked versions. I have a small kitchen with a lot of cupboards and no pantry, except the shelves lining what is supposed to be my spare bedroom. THAT was filled with my grandson, an air-mattress and his clothing for a few months. I should of saved the photo of the morning we left to take him to the airport. The mattress committed suicide during the night and was completely flat by that morning. laughing…
I started looking at the air-fryers online that evening to see what they found interesting. When I saw the painless method for frying bacon… and doughnuts!?, I was hooked. Where to put it? The top of the refrigerator had to do. I ordered one… a couple of days before Christmas, no less.
I tried it out by air-frying bacon. No cleaning of the whole stove and counters, just the fryer. No getting splattered with hot bacon fat. It was perfectly cooked and crispy. The house was not filled with that later-day smell of the bacon, if that makes any sense. That sold me. I mean, doesn’t it look yummy?
My grandson became an expert on what could be made in that air-fryer quickly- quesadillas, breakfast burritos, fries, tator puffs… the list went on. He made his breakfast and lunch in it every day, with my husband joining in during lunch. They made chicken (gag!) which my husband usually does in the garage so I do not get sick on the smell. It did not stink up the house! Oh! I also made air-fried porkchops, the recipe will come soon.
After my grandson went home, I came across air-fried ravioli and tortellini recipes. Why not finally make us some? I ended up altering the breading recipe. I also changed the air-fry time after the first batch.
If you ever had deep-fried ravioli and loved it, this recipe will do, I am sure. Better, it is much cheaper than the frozen ones at the stores, I am told. I had not seen it. This recipe not only works for air-frying, but it also works well deep-frying in oil. I use, as usual, all organic ingredients.
Have fun and enjoy, no matter how you fry your pasta.
Deep-Fried Ravioli and Tortellini
Air-fryer version is pictured and instructions for deep-frying afterwards with no photo.
3/4 to 1 cup milk
2 tbsp butter
1 tbsp organic egg substitute powder or 1-2 eggs – optional
1 cup unseasonsoned fine bread crumbs
1/2 cup organic potato flakes
2 tsp dried basil
4 tsp dried Italian-blend herbs
1 tsp garlic, granulated
2 tsp dried parsley – optional
1/4 cup finely shredded parmesan, crumbled – optional
40 oz. ravioli and/or tortellini, frozen or refrigerated
organic coconut, sunflower, or olive cooking oil spray
1 qt warm marinara sauce for dipping – optional
extra shredded parmesan and/or mozzarella cheese(s) – optional
1/2″ to 1-1/2″-deep of melted coconut, sunflower or olive oil in a deep pan. You can also use a deep-fryer if you have one, going by the fryer’s instructions for use.
Melt the butter on low heat with the milk, just until the butter is melted. Put the milk-mixture into a wide shallow bowl. Whip in the egg substitute if using. You can use 1 egg if you are not allergic to eggs like I am, or leave it out all-together. Note– You could even dip the pasta in water, melted coconut oil or other oil or melted fat. You want dampness for the breading to stick to. The egg substitute makes it a thin pancake-like batter, the egg adds a little girth to the liquid. It is your choice here.
Mix together the bread crumbs and the potato flakes in a wide shallow bowl with your fingers, crunching up the flakes as you do so to “match” the consistency of the bread crumbs. Add the rest of the dry ingredients (seasonings), blending well. I find using a wire-whisk, gently, does the job nicely.
Breading the Ravioli and Tortellini
I used refrigerated pasta. I have not used this recipe with the frozen. It should be just fine to use them straight out of the freezer. For assembly, I use my left hand for dipping and the right for the crumbs. A large platter plate is to the right of the crumb-mixture. It makes it all go faster, it is neater and I do not have gooey fingers for the breading part nor have the breading get fully gooey before I am done with all of the dipping and breading of the pastas.
Dip a ravioli in the milk-mixture (or whatever you have chosen to moisten the pasta with), give it a gentle shake, then put it into the crumb-mixture and cover with the crumbs.
IMPORTANT! Press the breadcrumbs, using your fingers, very firmly into the top and bottom of the ravioli as best as possible. Work carefully to avoid having the bread crumbs fall off the ravioli. Place it on a large plate. Repeat until all are breaded.
Grab a handful of the tortellini and place in the milk-mixture, stirring them around to coat. Gather them up and gently shake off the extra moisture, then put them in the crumb-mixture and cover with the crumbs.
IMPORTANT! Press the breadcrumbs, using your fingers, very firmly into all sides of the tortellini as best as possible. Work carefully to avoid having the bread crumbs fall off the tortellini. Place on a large plate. Repeat until all are breaded.
Put the plate, (2 large platter plates for 40 oz of the pastas), of breaded pasta into the refrigerator for AT LEAST 30 minutes!, 1 to 2 hours is preferred. You can even do this the night before if you wish. The breading adheres much better if you do so. In fact, anything you bread and then intend to bake or fry should be chilled for an hour before cooking to have the breading adhere properly.
Pre-heat the air-fryer for 3 minutes at 350°F (177°C). Once pre-heated, remove the basket and spray the inside of the air-fryer with cooking spray. I also add a parchment paper disk at this time. Warning! If you do it beforehand while preheating the air-fryer, the parchment WILL go up in flames when it is sucked into the fan because nothing is holding it down. You have been warned! Add enough ravioli or tortellini to cover the bottom and generously spray the pasta with the cooking spray. I may try brushing on melted coconut oil the next time for more moisture, though it came out fine.
Air-fry at 350°F (177°C) for 3 minutes. Remove the basket and turn the ravioli with *long* silicone-tipped tongs so you do not burn your wrists on the sides of the basket, (Yes, I did before getting long ones recently), or stir the tortellini gently to turn over. Do whatever works for you. Air-fry for another 3 minutes at 350°F (177°C), checking the pasta after 1-1/2 to 2 minutes. You want it crispy and light browned.
You will see in the photo way above that the first batch I cooked was for the 4 to 5 minutes on each side as recommended in the recipe I found. No. It was way, way, too long and dried the pasta too much.
If you are cooking them all, (they reheat very well the next day), then put the pasta into an oven-safe baking dish or parchment-lined baking sheet, lay a piece of foil over the top and place in the oven heated to 250°F to 275°F (140°C) to stay warm. Finish cooking the pasta in batches and putting each batch into the dish until done. Or… serve as you go.
Warm the oil to 350°F (177°C). Before I got one of those instant cooking temperature gauges for frying and BBQing, I learned that if you stick a wooden spoon handle into the hot oil and it gets little bubbles around it, it is about that temperature. Use what works for you. Use the temperature of 350°F (177°C) for best results.
Once the oil is hot, gently lower 5 to 6 of the breaded pasta into the oil with a slotted spoon (or whatever you have for that sort of thing). Dropping it in can be messy and painful. Let it cook for about 20 to 30 seconds, check to see if lightly browned, then turn when it is. Fry for about that same amount of time, again checking for brownness, before removing with a slotted spoon to a rack to drain. I place the rack on top of a baking sheet covered with parchment paper or paper towels to soak up the oil that drains off.
I serve the fried pasta with warmed homemade marinara sauce on the side for dipping or over the top if wanted. I prefer mine with the marina lightly spooned over and sprinkled with mozzarella cheese, I use a spoon or fork to eat this dish. My husband prefers dipping. When reheating the pasta, he likes me to sprinkle more parmesan over the top while it warms in a 300°F to 325°F (150°C to 165°C) oven on a parchment-lined pan, then dips it into warm marinara sauce when eating.
No matter how you prefer to eat fried pasta, it is all very good. Some people who used the air-fryer recipe I found had theirs come out very dry. I am wondering if they forgot to spray enough oil at the start on the pasta and after turning or cooked it all at the longer frying times? Ours was crispy on the outside and moist inside, even the over-fried batch, though it was drier on the outside.
Loves and Hugs!