Italy is known for a plethora of gifts to humanity in terms of food – from pizza to pasta and everything in between.
Ravioli is one of the most appreciated dishes in Italian cuisine – so popular that you can find it all over the world or simply cook it yourself.
The concept is fairly simple – al dente pasta squares that boost a rich filling as you chew them.
There are all sorts of fillings and varieties.
From many points of view, they are fulfilling and can make a good meal.
But then, there are a few ways to enhance them if you figure out what to serve with ravioli.
Why Consider Serving Side Dishes with Ravioli?
Most people would ask themselves the same question – why do you need a side dish with ravioli?
The truth is you do not. Ravioli is excellent alone.
However, there are times when you may want to bring in something else too.
For instance, you might be welcoming some guests – you want more than just plain ravioli, regardless of how tasty this type of pasta is.
You want some extra color in the dish or perhaps more variety.
The good news is there are plenty of options out there.
What to Serve with Ravioli? 7 BEST Side Dishes
Here are some good choices when not sure what to serve with ravioli.
1 – Soft Spongy Italian Bread
It may sound a bit unusual – serving pasta and bread.
Indeed, the combo can be a bit heavy, but Italians have it all the time – why not?
After all, you are already having an Italian dish – you might as well embrace the Italian cuisine all the way.
So, what kind of bread do you need for ravioli? Opt for something soft and spongy that will soak up the sauce.
If you have an Italian bakery nearby, you can get some ciabatta or focaccia.
Otherwise, you can make everything yourself.
Italian bread is easy to prepare – salt, sugar, flour, and active dry yeast.
2 – Sweet Cipollini Onions
These onions are basically small and sweet. Their flavor is extremely intense.
How do you find them?
Go to a grocery store and look for the small, flat, and pale version of a classic onion – you may need to dig a little to find them.
They are sweet, too, so they are great when roasted.
It also depends on what you roast them in.
Opt for balsamic vinegar, and they will be both tender and caramelized.
You can also saute them in butter.
No matter what you choose, pair them with ravioli for an incredible harmony of flavors and aromas.
3 – Crunchy Broccoli Rabe
This veggie is also known as rapini in Italy. You may struggle a bit to find it, but it is worth it.
Broccoli rabe is fully edible – leaves, buds, and stems.
It has a stronger flavor, too, and it works well with certain types of ravioli – for example, butternut squash ravioli.
No matter what flavor you choose for ravioli, chances are it will be subtle, despite its richness.
You need to pair it with something more intense.
Broccoli rabe is also better when mixed with tomatoes and peppers – roast everything together, cover in a sauce, and you are ready to go.
4 – Creamy Polenta
You can never go wrong with the fulfilling polenta.
Believe it or not, some people eat it alone too.
It could also become a main dish if you mix it with certain meats or cheese.
Now, when used as a side dish, you need to keep it plain.
While ravioli is usually soft and tender, the creamy polenta will make it even better – plus, the sauce in your ravioli will mix in a delicious manner.
You can also sprinkle a bit of mozzarella on your polenta.
5 – Prosciutto Wrapped Asparagus
This is not a very popular side dish, but if you think about it, it could be perfect.
It does not require too much work either – get some asparagus and prosciutto.
Steam the asparagus for a delicious side.
Wrap it in smoky prosciutto, and you have the best possible combo – green and fresh type of smokiness.
The dish is crispy but also savory.
It works with most types of ravioli too, but especially with vegetable options.
Prosciutto will take over the meaty profile and add consistency to your meal.
6 – Crispy Over Roasted Vegetables
Roast some vegetables, and you will give your ravioli a rustic and intense flavor – whether you have a veggie or meat-based ravioli.
Your best choices? Root crops, of course.
Bring in some sweet potatoes, turnips, carrots, parsnips, and beets.
All these veggies are naturally sweet.
Roast them in a bit of olive oil – add a bit of salt and pepper, too, and roast for about 20 minutes.
Slice the veggies in uniform sizes to ensure they all cook evenly at the same time.
Avoid overcrowding them, too – otherwise, they will steam instead of roasting.
7 – Frico Chips with Zucchini
Frico chips represent the ultimate side dish for your ravioli – not the most popular side dish out of Italy though.
What does it mean? Small blocks of Parmesan cheese that have been toasted or fried.
This is the type of snack that will cause instant addiction.
What makes it even better is a slight infusion with zucchini.
The good news is you can prepare everything yourself.
Combine the result with ravioli, and you have a great meal that no one can refuse – a mix of textured and aromas.
No matter how much of this side dish you prepare, it will go straight away – feel free to make more than what you think you will need.
As a short final conclusion, you can never go wrong with ravioli.
You can have ravioli alone, but you can also surprise your family with some nice side dishes.
Most of the above-mentioned dishes are common in Italian cuisine and will make a great impression.
If not sure what to serve with ravioli, any of them will complement the Italian dish without requiring too much work or time.