St. Louis is the birth place of some unique foods: gooey butter cake, pork steaks, provel cheese, the ice cream cone, frozen concrete…and toasted ravioli!
Toasted ravioli remains a St. Louis specialty, but it’s getting easier to find in restaurants outside our metro area. Crispy and deep fried, toasted ravioli is a crunchy pasta treat. Traditional St. Louis toasted ravioli has a beef or veal filling, but it’s also good when stuffed with cheese.
Many St. Louis chefs lay claim to the invention of toasted ravioli. Some say the dish was invented in 1943 at Oldani’s on “The Hill” by chef Terry Lane. Another legend says toasted ravioli was first cooked up in 1947 by a chef at Angelo’s when he accidentally dropped ravioli into a tray of bread crumbs, then decided to fry it up.
The Riverfront Times gave their “Best Toasted Ravioli” award to Gentelin’s on Broadway, located in Alton. Here they serve up an appetizer of three oversize ravioli stuffed with wild mushrooms, spinach and Boursin cheese, sprinkled with grated Parmesan and served with marinara sauce for dipping.
Frozen toasted ravioli from the grocery store is the easiest way to bring this tasty treat home, but it can also be made from scratch–or pretty close! Check out this recipe for toasted ravioli from the Food Network and Rachael Ray. You’ll start with fresh ravioli (you can buy them from the store) then dip them in a simple batter, roll in bread crumbs and fry in a skillet. Yum!
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