We love pasta in all forms, but our most profound adoration goes out to the genius who decided to stuff it, thereby inventing ravioli. While lofty fillings like lobster, caviar and sea urchin abound, we get back to basics and blind-taste five locally made ricotta cheese ravioli, all cooked according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
BETTER THAN HOMEMADE
P&S Ravioli Company
7051 Torresdale Avenue and other area locations; 215-624-9925
$3.69 per dozen
Even though P&S has six area stores and its ravioli are widely available in local supermarkets, we hadn’t heard of them. Shame on us. This plump ravioli was the clear favorite, with a slightly sweet interior with undertones of pecorino romano and parsley. The pasta’s thickness and consistency were perfect.
2612 East County Line Road, Ardmore; 610-649-4046
$4.35 per pound (about 30 ravioli)
Carlino’s is the Eastern Main Line’s answer to Di Bruno Bros., with prices to match. These ravioli, smaller than the competition, are good enough to serve as a side at our next dinner party. The interior was moist and subtly sharp, owing to the inclusion of imported locatelli. And the pasta was trimmed close to the edges of the filling, for a good cheese-to-pasta ratio.
IN A PINCH
110 Haddon Avenue, Westmont; 856-854-7666
$4.99 per dozen
This South Jersey specialty shop, which also sells its ravioli at Di Bruno Bros.’ Center City location for $7.99 a dozen, gets the texture of the filling right, but its flavor is a bit too low-profile. The slightly raw taste of the pasta was more prominent than anything contained therein.
No, THANK YOU
944 South 9th Street and other area locations; 215-627-4967
$4.49 per dozen
The raviolis from Talluto’s are like Angelina Jolie trapped inside of pre-Trimspa Anna Nicole Smith’s body. The filling was perhaps the creamiest of the bunch, with a tasty blend of ricotta and pecorino cheeses. Unfortunately, it was surrounded by a giant, bloated, chewy mass of dough reminiscent of a frozen Mrs. T’s pierogie.
Superior Pasta Company
905 Christian Street; 215-627-3306
$3.95 per dozen
Superior may be an Italian Market institution, with 50-plus years of pasta creation off 9th Street, but its ravioli was our least favorite. The pasta was doughy and pasty, and the filling was dry and nearly flavorless. You’re better off with Chef Boyardee.