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Toasted Ravioli (T-ravs) with Tomato Sauce

Introduction & method

Toasted ravioli, also known as T-RAVs are an addictive snack that originated in St Louis. At least two restaurants claim to have invented them in the early 20th century. The basic idea is very simple - ravioli are coated in breadcrumbs, deep-fried and dipped in tomato or marinara sauce. Despite them being fried, the originators called them 'toasted' because it sounds better.

Toasted Ravioli (T-ravs) with Tomato Sauce Recipe


Obviously you can use fresh or frozen ready-made ravioli, but if you want a bit more control you can make your own. Bring a large pot of salted water to the boil. Add the lasagna pasta sheets and manipulate them with tongs to make sure they don't stick together. Cook them for a couple of minutes less than the time recommended by the manufacturer. Remove the pasta sheets from the water and lay them side-by-side on a sheet of greaseproof paper. Keep the water in the pot.

Make the Filling

Cut any big stalks off the spinach. Have ready a bowl of cold water. Bring the pot of water to the boil and drop the spinach in. It will only take a minute of two to wilt. When this has happened, scoop out the spinach with a perforated spoon and put it in the cold water. Grab the spinach in your hand and squeeze it to remove as much moisture as you can. Cut it into narrow strips. Place the ricotta into a bowl and stir in the spinach - try to separate the squidged-up strands. Stir in the finely grated parmesan.

Make the Ravioli

Cut each sheet of pasta into four strips. Place a small dollop of filling near one of the short edges. Fold the pasta over so the corners meet. Press the sides and bottom edge together to seal them. Get 2 shallow bowls. Beat 1 or 2 eggs into one, and pour a pile of breadcrumbs into the other. Stir salt into the breadcrumbs. With one hand, dip a raviolo into the egg. Make sure it's coated all over then drop it in the breadcrumbs. With your other hand, coat the rav with breadcrumbs. Remove from the bowl and set aside. Repeat for all the ravioli.

Make the Sauce

Pour the can of tomatoes into a small saucepan. Stir in the other ingredients, bring to the boil, turn down to a simmer and let it bubble away for about 15 minutes. If it's too thick, add some water. The sauce might be a bit chunky. If you prefer a smoother sauce, whizz it with a stick blender.

Cook the Ravs

Put 2-3 centimetres (about an inch) of sunflower oil into a large frying pan on medium heat. When it is hot, add about six ravs and let them sizzle for a minute or two each side. Remove with a perforated spoon and place on kitchen paper to dry. Continue with the other batches until they're all cooked.

To Serve

Put some of the sauce in a small bowl and arrange t-ravs around it. Sprinkle parmesan shavings over the t-ravs and sauce.


Ingredients & Info

 6 lasagna pasta sheets
 125 grams ricotta
 2 tbsp parmesan, finely grated
 2 eggs
 3-4 tbsp breadcrumbs
 400 grams can chopped tomatoes
 1 tsp dried basil
 1 tsp dried oregano
 half a tsp onion powder
 half a tsp garlic powder
 1-2 tbsp dark muscovado sugar
  salt and pepper to taste

Sunflower (or similar) oil for frying. Parmesan shavings to garnish.

US Customary/Imperial

Makes 24 ravioli
Prep time: 10 minutes.
Cooking time: 10 minutes.
Total time: 20 minutes.