|Main ingredients||Flour, eggs, water|
Toasted ravioli, or breaded deep-fried ravioli, is an appetizer created and popularized in St. Louis, Missouri. Toasted ravioli can be found on the menus of many St. Louis restaurants including those of The Hill, a predominantly Italian neighborhood.
Toasted ravioli may have originated in Sicily, where fried ravioli containing a sweet filling is a traditional Christmas time dish "commonly referred to as meat pillows." However, most accounts of the first toasted ravioli can be traced to the Italian neighborhood, known as "The Hill", of St. Louis, Missouri, in the United States.
Many claims have been made as to the original creation of toasted ravioli in the United States. One account attributes it to Oldani's in St. Louis, MO. The restaurant was located where Mama's "On The Hill" restaurant is now, on the St. Louis Hill at 2132 Edwards Street. As the story goes, the delicacy was stumbled upon when a ravioli from wholesaler Mama Toscano's was accidentally dropped into the fryer by Chef Fritz. "Mickey Garagiola, older brother of Major League Baseball Hall-of-Famer Joe Garagiola, was actually at the bar during the mishap and was the first to taste the accidental treat." Shortly after, the item began appearing on menus across "The Hill" neighborhood of St. Louis. Meanwhile, many chefs on The Hill stake their claims: Another popular claim revolves around Charlie Gitto's "On The Hill" restaurant (then known as "Angelo's"). According to that tale, in 1947, a chef at Angelo's accidentally dropped the pasta into oil instead of water.
Composition, varieties and service
Generally, some type of meat is wrapped in square ravioli, breaded and deep fried until the pasta shell becomes slightly crispy, dry and golden brown, hence the name. Toasted ravioli is traditionally served with marinara sauce for dipping and parmesan cheese may also be sprinkled on top. Toasted ravioli can be stored pre-made and frozen which allows it to be easily prepared by fry cooks or bar staff without requiring much special skill or training.
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- Rodgers, Rick; Christopher Hirsheimer (1999). Fried & True: Crispy and Delicious Dishes from Appetizers to Desserts. Chronicle Books. p. 41. ISBN 0-8118-1606-0.
- An article by Linda Cicero ("Cook's Corner: Meet me in St. Louis for `toasted' ravioli") in the 2007-02-07 Miami Herald observed that Linda Stradley's book, I'll Have What They're Having; Legendary Local Cuisine (2002) ISBN 0-7627-1146-9 states that St. Louis is "the only city in the United States to produce this". According to Cicero, Stradley says that toasted ravioli is popular around Christmas.
- Delano, Patti (2006). Missouri. Globe Pequot. p. 12. ISBN 0-7627-4203-8.
- Wiederhold, Arthur (2002). Art & Rosies Home-Tested Recipes. Chronicle Books. p. 67. ISBN 0-595-22016-9.