Long a favorite pasta dish whether it’s coming from Chef Boyardee or a Michelin-starred master, ravioli is a robust, filled pasta—like pillows, but with dough and meat. If that description wasn’t enough and you’re still wondering, what is ravioli? We’re here to help. Today, we’ll learn a little bit more about these tidy little sauce-slathered noodle suitcases, and what makes them so darn incredible.
What is a ravioli?
Well, we never thought we’d need to consult a dictionary to define something like ravioli, but heck, that sounds like fun so here it goes! Merriam Webster defines ravioli as “pasta in the form of little cases of dough containing a savory filling (as of meat or cheese).” These doughy cases are usually covered in sauce like marinara or alfredo, and served hot to eager receivers who can’t wait to partake. You can make them at home, or buy them frozen or canned from your local supermarket. Just be sure to get enough to share, because when people begin to think “Oh wow, ravioli…I haven’t had that in a while!” they’re going to start asking for some of yours.
Is ravioli pasta?
Yes, ravioli falls neatly in the “filled pasta” category. Ravioli casing is typically two flat sheets of pasta dough pressed on either side of a cheese, meat, or vegetable filling, forming a squarish pillow shape.
What cheese is in ravioli?
The most popular cheese filling for ravioli is ricotta. Substitutes for ricotta such as cottage cheese, are also widely accepted in the ravioli cooking community (some even prefer cottage cheese due to its lower caloric content). Often, ricotta is mixed with other cheeses like Parmigiano Reggiano and Pecorino Romano for a more flavorful cheese filling.
What to serve with ravioli?
Go for something classically Italian or Italian-American: garlic bread, caprese salad, or bruschetta. Or opt for a simple vegetable side like sauteed zucchini or broccoli rabe. However, you can go as off the rails as you need, just make sure everything’s edible. Nothing from the hardware store, or anything like that. (Sorry, robots, but we write for humans here!)