On National Ravioli Day, celebrate a pasta that is fun and versatile. Observed on March 20th each year, pasta lovers dive in on this food holiday.
- The earliest mention of Ravioli or raviolo (singular) comes from the writings of Francesco di Marco, a merchant of Venice in the 14th century.
- The word ravioli is from an old Italian word riavvolgere (“to wrap”)
- Canned ravioli was pioneered by Chef Boyardee in the 1930’s
- “Fresh” packed ravioli lasts for several week while fresh made lasts for just a few days.
- Italian tradition is to serve vegetarian ravioli, particularly on Fridays. Meats is served as a side or later in the meal.
- Ravioli appears in India, as a popular dish called Gujiya is similar to ravioli, however it is prepared sweet, with a filing of dry fruits, sugar and a mixture of sweet spices, then deep fried in vegetable oil.
- Ravioli nudi, or “naked ravioli”, refers to simply the filling without the pasta shell.
- Jewish cuisine has a similar dish called Kreplach, a pocket of meat or other filling covered by egg pasta.
- Typically, ravioli are boiled and served with a rich sauce, although some parts of Italy bake their ravioli in cream sauces after boiling them.
- All ravioli starts with a pasta dough, typically made by mixing egg, flour, salt, olive oil, and water. The dough is kneaded and worked to a smooth, moist consistency, and then allowed to rest while the filling is made.
- The filling is usually cooked and mixed with egg so that it stays together, and after it cools the dough is rolled out into a flat sheet to make ravioli. Small spoonfuls of dough are placed approximately half an inch (one and a half centimeters) apart before another sheet of rolled out dough is carefully placed on top. A ravioli rolling pin is rolled over the two pieces of dough and the filling, sandwiching the filling into small pockets of dough which can be gently cut apart and cooked.
- In India, a popular dish called Gujiya is similar to ravioli, however it is prepared sweet, with a filing of dry fruits, sugar and a mixture of sweet spices, then deep fried in vegetable oil. The dish is a popular food prepared during the Holi festival, mainly in the northern, northwestern and central parts of India.
- The Guinness World Records’ record for the longest ravioli measures 96 ft 1 in and was achieved by Amway Russia in St Petersburg, Russia, in August of 2013.
- In Rome, ravioli were already well-known when Bartolomeo Scappi served them with boiled chicken to the papal conclave of 1549.
- Ravioli were already known in 14th century England, appearing in the Anglo-Norman vellum manuscript Forme of Cury under the name of rauioles.
- Sicilian ravioli and Malta’s ravjul may thus be older than North Italian ones.
- Toasted ravioli (ravioli that have been breaded and deep fried) was developed in St. Louis, Missouri, and is a popular appetizer or snack food.
- Canned ravioli was pioneered by the Italian Army in the First World War and was popularized by Heinz and Buitoni in the UK and Europe, and Chef Boyardee in the United States.