Toasted Raviolis

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Although we live in Chicago, when it comes to baseball, I am still a St Louis fan. And so, over the past couple weeks, I’ve been enjoying a lot of baseball while drinking a lot of Budweisers. Last night, I decided to step it up one more notch and we made this St. Louis delicacy – toasted raviolis.

The first time I ever had Toasted Raviolis was probably sometime around 1998 or so. I’m not sure exactly where I had them for the first time, but I likely had them at Mike Duffy’s, a bar near the Wash U campus that, at least at the time, was well known for serving minors.

At first, I didn’t know that this bar favorite was a St Louis original, but apparently, that’s true. And even though you can get them elsewhere (La Gondola in Chicago does a phenominal job, and I even saw Robert Irvine do them on Restaurant Impossible), I think that most people would probably agree that these are, in fact, natively St Louisan.

Toasted Raviolis Recipe:
1. Thaw it: first thing I had to do was to thaw out some ravioli. I had made these earlier and filled them with a mix of ricotta, some green onions, and an egg. I put 9 of them on a tray to thaw out for about 15 minutes or so. When they thaw, the pasta gets all sticky and some of them may break. One of mine broke, so I had 8 to work with.

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2. Dredge it: dip the thawed ravioli into egg wash and then breadcrumbs.

3. Fry it: I fried these in some canola oil set in my mini iron skillet. I like using the mini iron skillet for these because the toasted ravioli fry up really fast. My little iron skillet only took about a cup of oil and only could fit about four toasted ravioli at a time. But given the size of my kitchen, the size of my dredging setup, and the really short time it took for these to brown, four at a time is a very good number.

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4. Eat it: I served these with some marinara sauce from a jar, which is traditional. And they were magnificent. They were crispy, cheesy, savory, and reminded me of the ones I first had back in St Louis. But they were also much lighter and brighter than other toasted ravioli that I’ve had before. My wife described the flavor as good because it doesn’t taste like they went straight from the freezer and into a deep fryer.

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We had originally intended for this to be an impromptu appetizer before dinner. But we liked them so much that, after the first batch, I instantly started working on a second one. Yum.

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7 Comments

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7 responses to “Toasted Raviolis

  1. This is SUCH a great idea. I’ve never seen ravioli cooked like this, it must work so well.

    • Making ravioli was the hardest part, but one could always get some from store. Once you have the ravioli, making these is relatively straight forward. And even if you mess some of them up, which I did, they’re still good.

  2. The fact that toasted rav’s haven’t caught on blows my mind. I was so sad when we moved to WI and couldn’t even find them in the frozen section of the grocery store. These look fantastic!

    • I agree. I don’t understand why every sportsbar in America doesn’t have these. I much prefer them to mozzarella sticks.
      I also tried to find them at my local grocery store freezer section with no luck.

  3. Excellent recipe today thanks for sharing. I really enjoyed reading today’s post.

    Check out this healthy recipe – Cheese Topped Vegetables

  4. T Fre Baker

    I, too, lived in St. Louis for a number of years … all through high-school and a stint at Wash U. After school I moved to Chicago to pursue an advertising career. The mid-west ran its course for me and I now live in Sausalito, CA where I’ve been for over 30 years.

    About 6 months ago, out of the clear blue, toasted ravioli popped into my mind … I recalled how much I enjoyed them while in St. Louis but didn’t/don’t remember seeing/hearing about them/it since. You know how guys are … “I can make that!!!” … and make ‘em I did … and I’ve been making them at least once a month since. So easy … SO TASTY.

    Thank you, St. Louis, for TOASTED RAVIOLI, for GOOEY BUTTER CAKE and for so many other things (Bush’s Grove) that I never really appreciated until I left …

    T. Fred Baker/Sausalito, CA

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