Chan got her inspiration from a recipe posted on Delish in September 2019 and developed by the site’s then food director, Lauren Miyashiro. “For the life of me, I really can’t remember where I was inspired,” Miyashiro shared via email. “I did, however, develop a copycat Olive Garden fried lasagna recipe, and everyone freaked out over that recipe. So I’m guessing the whole fried pasta concept just spiraled a bit from there. … What I can say is that every time they were made in the kitchen, they were devoured in minutes.”
While the fried lasagna is from a couple years earlier, Olive Garden entered the pasta chip game in 2018 when it offered a loaded version a la nachos ahead of the Super Bowl. And the pasta and breadsticks chain isn’t the only restaurant to have discovered fried pasta. After some TikTok users commented that their favorite restaurants served pasta chips, claiming them to be a thing in Louisiana, I discovered that establishments including The Chimes and Copeland’s serve them with spinach artichoke dip; Copeland’s said in an Instagram post that it has been serving them for decades.
Still, another fried pasta has been served in the United States for nearly a century: toasted ravioli. A St. Louis specialty, toasted ravioli are typically beef- or cheese-filled pasta that have been breaded, deep-fried, sprinkled with Parmesan cheese and served with marinara sauce for dipping. While it’s hotly debated who invented this culinary masterpiece, toasted ravioli have been around since the 1930s or 1940s.