Food for Thought: A Short History of Ravioli 9 years ago

Food for Thought: A Short History of Ravioli

We need food and drink to survive, to nourish us and to keep us in tip-top shape. But did you ever wonder about the history behind certain foods and drinks?

This week we’re bringing you the history behind ravioli.


No one is 100 per cent certain as to when ravioli were first made, but the earliest written mentions of the pasta appear in a 14th century manuscript.

Written by Francesco di Marco, a Tuscan merchant, the recipe for ravioli featured blanched and mixed green herbs, mixed with a beaten egg and fresh cheese which was simmered in a broth. This is in fact a very traditional way of cooking and eating the famous pasta.

16th century references have also been found in Rome when Bartolomeo Scappu famously served them to the papal conclave of 1549.

Regardless, ravioli has had a long tradition of being served in Italy, particularly on Fridays and during Lent when meat was put aside in favour of vegetarian dishes.


Tomato-based sauces with the pasta wasn’t popularised until the 16th century when the fruit was introduced to the country.

Interestingly enough, ravioli was also know in England and was mentioned in a 14th century cookbook by King Richard II’s cooks called Forme of Cury, where it was listed as “rauioles”.

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