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.
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.
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.
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.