|Main ingredients||Flour, eggs, water|
Toasted ravioli, or breaded deep-fried ravioli, is an appetizer created and popularized in St. Louis, Missouri. Toasted ravioli beginnings can be sourced to two restaurants in St. Louis. Mama Campisi's and Charlie Gitto's. Both restaurants are located in an Italian section of St. Louis called "The Hill".
Most accounts of the first toasted ravioli can be traced to the predominantly Italian neighborhood of St. Louis, Missouri, known as "The Hill". Many claims have been made as to the original creation of toasted ravioli in the United States. As the story goes, the delicacy was stumbled upon when a ravioli from restaurant Mama Campisi’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 thereafter, the item began appearing on menus across The Hill.
Many restaurants in The Hill stake their claims to the creation: one such claim revolves around Charlie Gitto's "On The Hill" restaurant (then known as "Angelo's"). According to that tale, in 1947, Mario Battocletti, a chef at Angelo's, accidentally dropped the pasta into oil instead of water. Another claim to the origins of toasted ravioli goes to Louis Oldani. Oldani is said to have named the dish 'toasted' ravioli because he thought toasted ravioli sounded more appealing than 'fried' ravioli. The legend of the origins of the toasted ravioli remains a mystery mainly due to the fact that the original claim holders have all died.
Lombardo's Restaurants, located around the St. Louis area, also claim to have been among the first to bring toasted ravioli to the States from Sicily; current restaurant owner, Tony Lombardo, proudly boasts menus from the 1930s that showcase the fan-favorite appetizer as an option for patrons. Lombardo's toasted raviolis frequently top lists as the "best t-ravs in St. Louis".
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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- St. Louis cuisine
- Cuisine of the Midwest
- Cuisine of the United States
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- "History | Mama's on The Hill". www.mamasonthehill.com. Retrieved Aug 16, 2019.
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- "Examining the mysterious past of St. Louis' toasted ravioli". 10Best. Feb 25, 2018. Retrieved Aug 16, 2019.
- Delano, Patti (2006). Missouri. Globe Pequot. p. 12. ISBN 0-7627-4203-8.
- "Who Invented Toasted Ravioli?". www.stlmag.com. 2015-11-20. Retrieved 2020-10-06.
- "These places have the best toasted ravioli". ksdk.com. Retrieved 2020-10-06.
- Wiederhold, Arthur (2002). Art & Rosies Home-Tested Recipes. Chronicle Books. p. 67. ISBN 0-595-22016-9.