Again Jesus spoke to them, saying, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”
John 8 : 12
I hit the jack pot with today’s post. Two words… Toasted Ravioli = Game changer! With sticking with the St. Louis theme I made these delicious crunchy, meaty/cheesy concoctions, a little begrudgingly I might add. I could tell from the recipe (closest to original I could find) that these were going to be some work.
But these Toasted Ravioli reminded me of two life lessons that are easily forgotten in our day and age. First, hard work is worth the pay off sometimes. This recipe took sometime to make… like three hours worth of time. I mean who has that much time to make some stinkin ravioli, right? Not me… but oh, try these and you just might be persuaded on putting in the time to make these. Life is sometimes hard work… and sometimes you get one of the best recipes that has ever came out of your kitchen as reward.
The second life lesson was this, it’s OK to make mistakes. This is the second recipe in two weeks that was discovered by accident (aka a mistake was made). It is so easy to think, as is human nature, that it everything has to be done right the first time, every time. And if it is not, we are super hard on ourselves. But guys, we can learn so much from mistakes about ourselves, and new creations such as toasted ravioli. 🙂
Toasted Ravioli was founded in south St. Louis in the Italian district known as The Hill. There are two restaurants that lay the claim to fame. Whether it be a restaurant named Angelo’s (now known as Charlies Gitto’s ), or Oldani’s (now known as Mama Campisi’s ) no one will ever agree, but what is known is that in the 1940’s a new cook misunderstood how to cook the ravioli and dropped the ravioli into a pot of boiling oil instead of water. It was plated for the back kitchen help to eat, and was liked so well it soon was placed on the menu.
I stuck with the original recipe, to pay homage to the original recipe. I felt I had to make this from scratch to see what all the hype was about, and it turned out excellent. I just want you guys to know, I. don’t. ever. say. that. I can not remember making a recipe and after trying it thinking that a little more spice could have been added, or it could have cooked a few less minutes, etc. But not these, no sirree… perfection.
That being said, if cooking is just not your thing. If the thought of cooking for three hours makes your stomach turn. Go buy some frozen ravioli and give this a try. They will still be loved by all at your next tailgating party.
- 3 1/2 cups flour
- 3 eggs
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 1/2 cup water
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 pound ground beef
- 1/2 pound ground pork
- 1/2 cup chopped onion
- 1/2 cup chopped celery
- 1/4 cup chopped carrots
- salt and pepper
- 1 cup cooked, chopped spinach
- 3 eggs
- 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
Breading for Ravioli
- 3 eggs, beaten
- 1/8 cup water
- 4 cups seasoned bread crumbs
- Grated Parmesan cheese
- Marinara sauce for dipping
For the dough : In a large mixing bowl, add all dough ingredients, mix until all ingredients form a ball. Knead dough for 5-10 minutes. Wrap in plastic wrap and set aside.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
For filling : Mix together beef, pork, onion, celery, carrot, salt and pepper in a 13 x 9 Pyrex baking dish. Poke holes with a fork or straw through out flattened out mixture (this will speed up cooking time). Cook in oven until cooked through, approximately 40 minutes. Let cool.
With a food processor mix meat mixture, spinach, eggs, and cheese. Grind to a fine texture.
Roll out dough on a floured surface. It should be a very thin, large layer of dough.
Placing approximately 2 teaspoons of meat mixture as dumpling over half of dough, leaving spaces between each dumpling of meat.
Fold the other half of dough over the side with the meat mixture. Let the dough fall between the dumplings. Then push down with side of a fork to push down dough into each other. (If you have a ravioli marker and cutter, this could be used instead of a fork and pizza cutter). Then cut where impressions are with pizza cutter.
To make sure they are well sealed, use prongs of fork to push edges together. This looks nice as well. However, this far into making this, you may no longer care what they look like. 🙂
Place on a cookie sheet and put into freezer until hard.
Breading : Make an egg wash by mixing eggs and water – mix well. Place in a bowl seasoned breadcrumbs.
Dip ravioli into wash, then bread crumbs. Place back onto cookie sheet, or other dish.
Refreeze until ready to fry.
Preheat oil to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
Place approximately 1-1.5 inches deep of canola oil into a heavy bottomed skillet ( I used my cast iron skillet). Heat oil using a frying thermometer (I picked one up cheap at my grocery store). For me this was a medium heat on stove setting.
Fry ravioli until golden brown – approximately 3-5 minutes. Then flip to brown other side.
Once these are done, if the dough still seems a little doughy, place in oven at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 15-20 minutes.
Serve ravioli with a sprinkle of Parmesan and marinara sauce.
These freeze well.
Adapted from Charlie Gitto’s Toasted Ravioli on Food Network