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Toasted ravioli facts for kids

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Toasted ravioli
Toasted Ravioli.jpg
Type Fried dish
Main ingredients Flour, eggs, water

Toasted ravioli is breaded deep-fried ravioli, usually served as an appetizer. It was created and popularized in St. Louis, Missouri at two restaurants, Mama Campisi's and Charlie Gitto's. Both are located in an Italian-American neighborhood, "The Hill".


Most accounts of toasted ravioli trace its origins to a predominantly Italian-American neighborhood of St. Louis, The Hill. Supposedly, a ravioli was accidentally dropped into the fryer at Mama Campisi's 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 other restaurants in The Hill claim its creation, among them, Charlie Gitto's "On The Hill" restaurant (then known as "Angelo's"). That story claims that in 1947, Mario Battocletti, a chef at Angelo's, accidentally dropped the pasta into oil instead of water. Another claim is from Louis Oldani. Oldani is said to have named the dish 'toasted' ravioli because he thought 'toasted' was more appealing than 'fried'. All the original claim holders have now 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; their current owner, Tony Lombardo, shows menus from the 1930s that include it. 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 browned. Toasted ravioli is generally 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 special skill or training.

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