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.
- 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!
- St. Louis, Missouri is where the toasted ravioli got its start. By accident, a ravioli fell into the fryer at Oldani’s back in the 1940s.
- The first mentions of Ravioli was in the 14th century Venus.
- The word ravioli is from an old Italian word riavvolgere (“to wrap”)
- Canned ravioli was pioneered by Chef Boyardee in the 1930’s
- Italian tradition is to serve vegetarian ravioli, particularly on Fridays. Meats is served as a side or later in the meal.
- The earliest mention of Ravioli or raviolo (singular) comes from the writings of Francesco di Marco, a merchant of Venice in the 14th century.
- In Venice, the mid-14th-century manuscript Libro per cuoco offers ravioli of green herbs blanched and minced, mixed with beaten egg and fresh cheese, simmered in broth and seasoned with “sweet and strong spices”.
- 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.
- In Rome, ravioli were already well-known when Bartolomeo Scappi served them with boiled chicken to the papal conclave of 1549.
- In Turkey, Mantı which is similar to ravioli is a popular dish. It is stuffed with spiced meat and served with paprika sauce and yogurt.
- Similar dishes in China are the jiaozi or wonton. Also, the Asian dish samosa is similar to ravioli and is stuffed with potato, meat, peas, or paneer, and often served with sweet and sour sauce.
- In India, a popular dish called gujiya is similar to ravioli. However, it is prepared sweet, with a filling of dry fruits, sugar, and a mixture of sweet spices, then deep fried in vegetable oil. Different stuffings are used in different parts of India. The dish is a popular food prepared during festivals all over that country.
- Jewish cuisine has a similar dish called kreplach, a pocket-oli of meat or other filling, with an egg pasta based covering. It is simmered in chicken soup. In that method of preparation it appears to be the direct descendent or inspiration of the original dish, which was simmered in “broth”.
- A similar Middle Eastern dish called shishbarak contains pasta filled with minced beef meat and cooked in hot yogurt.
- Chef Boyardee, His name was actually Hector, was born Ettore Boiardi, an Italian immigrant from Piacenza who changed his first name shortly after arriving in America.
- By the age of 17, Boiardi became a chef at New York’s Plaza Hotel alongside his brother Mario.
- During his time in West Virginia, Boiardi directed the catering for President Woodrow Wilson’s second marriage to Edith Galt in 1915.
- He started Chef BOY-AR-DEE in 1928 with his brothers. One day, Boiardi’s brother Paul – who stayed on at the Plaza Hotel as a waiter – served Hector’s spaghetti to John Hartford, the president of A&P supermarkets. Hartford encouraged the Boiardi brothers to go into manufacturing, and so Chef Boy-ar-dee was born and distributed on shelves at A&P supermarkets across the nation.