Ravioli are a type of pasta comprising a filling enveloped in thin pasta dough.
They are commonly square, though other forms are also used, including circular and semi-circular.
It is usually two layers of pasta dough with a filling between the two layers.
There are many different recipes, with different kinds of fillings.
Traditionally, ravioli are made at home.
The earliest known mention of ravioli appears in the personal letters of Francesco di Marco Datini, a merchant of Prato 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”.
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.
Today, ravioli are hand made at home and are also mass-produced by machine in factories.
In Europe and the United States, fresh-packed ravioli have several weeks of shelf life.
Canned ravioli were pioneered by the Italian Army in the First World War and were popularized by Heinz and Buitoni in the UK and Europe, and Chef Boyardee in the United States. Canned ravioli may be filled with beef, processed cheese, chicken, or Italian sausage and served in a tomato, tomato-meat, or tomato-cheese sauce.
Toasted ravioli, or breaded deep-fried ravioli, is an appetizer created and popularized in St. Louis, Missouri. Toasted ravioli beginnings can be sourced to two restaurants in St. Louis. Mama Campisi’s and Charlie Gitto’s. Both restaurants are located in an Italian section of St. Louis called “The Hill”.
Jewish cuisine has a similar dish called kreplach, a pocket of meat or other filling, with an egg pasta based covering. It is simmered in chicken soup.
In India, a popular dish called gujiya is similar to ravioli.
The most ravioli made in two minutes is 33 and was achieved by Gino D’Acampo (Italy) on the set of Let’s Do Lunch With Gino & Mel, ITV, London, UK, on 25 July 2013.
The longest ravioli measures 29.28 m (96 ft 1 in) and was achieved by Amway Russia (Russia) in St Petersburg, Russia, on 3 August 2013. The ravioli was 6 cm wide and the filling included chicken and onion.
The largest raviolo weighs 79.5 kg (175 lb 4.32 oz) and was made by the Tat-Taljan Company Ltd (Malta), in central Qormi, Malta, on on 4 May 2013.