National Ravioli Day is observed each year on March 20th. As one of the food holidays, it is very popular with pasta lovers.
Ravioli are a traditional type of Italian filled pasta, made up of a filling sealed between two layers of thin egg pasta dough. The ravioli are usually served in either a broth or with a pasta sauce. A variety of filling recipes are available from cheesy to meaty.
Served often as the main course, ravioli can also be a side dish or even an appetizer. Many popular recipes bake or deep fry the ravioli. With chocolate added to the pasta or cream cheese stuffing and a caramel sauce, the dish quickly becomes a dessert!
Ravioli can be homemade or may be purchased fresh or frozen in grocery stores. In the United States, Chef Boyardee popularized the canned ravioli. This ravioli is filled with either beef or processed cheese and served in a tomato, tomato-meat or tomato-cheese sauce. St. Louis, Missouri is where the toasted ravioli got its start, when the chef accidentally dropped the pasta into oil instead of water.
- 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 up 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.
- 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.
- Ravioli appears in 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.