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St. Louis Favorite Foods: Toasted Ravioli

St. Louis is known for several things: our baseball, our beer and our toasted ravioli. Oh there might be a few other things in there somewhere, but that’s the top three. Go ahead, ask anyone.

toasted ravioli that you can make at home

Toasted ravioli is no longer a curiosity dish made up by those crazy Italians on The Hill. I heard that our humble little dish has been popping up all over the country these day. But we still do it best.

And you can do it at home.

Yep, there’s really no need to hire a babysitter or drag the kids to The Hill to get your rav fix. The recipe for home made toasted ravioli is surprisingly easy. And you don’t have to make them from scratch!

The big guy and I whipped up a sample dish of toasted ravioli in just a few minutes. We mainly winged it on the recipe, but we drew our inspiration from this recipe from Rachael Ray posted on the Food Network.

Our ravioli’s were light and tasty, much better than the frozen in a box, oven cooked ravioli, and just about as good as anything you’ll get at on The Hill.

We used:

  • Louisa’s frozen ravioli,regular sized beef and mini sized cheese, from St. Louis
  • Zia’s Pasta Sauce, from St. Louis
  • Bread crumbs, a.k.a. smashed croutons
  • Parmesan cheese
  • Dash of basil
  • Eggs
  • Milk
  • Oil for frying

That’s it!

I thawed out the ravioli in a bowl of hot water while I prepped the bread crumbs.

I also got a pan of oil heating up on the stove–I threw out my Fry Daddy long ago. The experts say to get it up to 350, so do that if you have a thermometer. Or just eyeball like we did. You want a good inch or so of oil, so use a deep pan.

I actually forgot about the bread crumbs when I was at the store, so I used a handful of leftover croutons, some toast with garlic (which was way to hard to make into crumbs) and finally a couple whole grain crackers smashed up for good measure. Hopefully you’ll just remember to buy bread crumbs, but I wanted to point out that

the exact nature of your crumbs is NOT important.

toasted ravioli recipe

Next I mixed in a big spoonful of grated Parmesan and a dash of basil into the crumbs and stirred it up with a fork. This was mostly Rachael Ray’s idea, but she used parsley. Who has parsley? It worked.

We beat two eggs with a splash of milk in a big bowl. By this time the ravioli was thawed and the oil was getting hot.

Now you dunk the ravioli into the egg bath and coat it well and good in the crumb mixture.

toasted ravioli recipe

Carefully place a few in the pan of hot oil and fry until golden brown. This only took a minute or two, but I have no idea how hot the oil was. And I was in a hurry.

toasted ravioli recipe

Let the hot ravioli dry on a paper towel, or on a cookie rack over a paper towel.


toasted ravioli recipe St. Louis favorite

Yes, there’s a round one in there too. We were having so much fun with the ravioli that we tossed in some tortellini too.

Note: Rachael Ray said to fry them for 3 to 4 minutes a side. Maybe my pan was too hot, because that would have turned my raviolis into blacken briquettes. Since we’re working with a pre-cooked, room temperature ravioli all you need to do is get it crispy.