Monday, September 7, 2015

Homemade Ravioli With Pesto

My boyfriend recently decided to take the plunge and go from vegetarian to vegan last month, which is really exciting! One thing he's always loved is pesto, which is often not vegan, so I decided to veganize that. After I made a little batch of it, I thought it'd be fun to make homemade ravioli. Do not start this process unless you have a lot of time. It's a labor of love!

If you can enlist help, DO! My daughter started helping me with the noodles and it made it go by so much faster! She'd put the dough balls in, get the sheets nice and thin, and make the circles and I'd fill, pinch, and crimp. There are three recipes here, but this is so flipping good, you will not regret the time spent. I promise!! You could also skip one or more of the recipes. For example, you could make the pasta into linguine and toss with pesto or top with red sauce and the filling.

Filling the ravioli
A sheet of ravioli

Emma did not want pesto, so her ravioli were
 tossed in Earth Balance and nutritional yeast.
You could really eat them with any topping. Or none.
Mmmmm pesto-topped pillows of filled pasta

The Pesto

This doesn't actually make much. In fact, it makes about 6 tablespoons when all is said and done, and that's not very much. I would recommend doubling it, but I was feeling lazy and didn't feel like washing and drying more basil. Yes, too lazy to deal with a second cup of basil, but not too lazy for homemade pasta. I don't get me either.

1/2 TBS lemon juice
1/4 cup olive oil
1 cup washed and dried fresh basil leaves (packed)
3 TBS pine nuts
2 cloves of garlic
1.5 TBS nutritional yeast
1/4 tsp salt

Put this all into a high-powered blender (in the order listed) or a food processor until mixed and somewhat smooth. You want it to be a bit gritty. Scrape it all out into a container and stick it in the fridge.

The pasta

I am so thankful for my Kitchen Aid's pasta attachment. I don't think I could have done this without it! 

2 cups semolina flour
3/4 cups all purpose flour
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup warm water

Prep your mixer with the dough hook. Mix the flours and salt in the bowl of the mixer.Add the water a little bit at a time until a nice, smooth dough forms, using the lowest speed setting and scraping down the sides as needed. You may need a little more or less, depending on your ambient humidity. Let the mixer knead the dough for 7 minutes. Break the dough into 10 equal pieces, cover in plastic wrap, and set aside for at least 20 minutes to rest. While that's happening, you can make the filling!

The Filling

This filling is delicious in stuffed shells as well! It's rich, creamy, and flavorful. My daughter was eating it straight out of the bowl. You may wish to double this to make close to 100 ravioli or leave it as is and make about 50. It's up to you!

3/4 cup boiling water
1/2 cup raw, unsalted cashews
1 package of extra firm tofu, drained (standard 14 oz package)
1 TBS garlic powder (yes, tablespoon)
1 tsp oregano
1 tsp basil
1/4 cup nutritional yeast
1 tsp lemon juice
1 TBS olive oil

In a small saucepan, boil 3/4 cup water and add 1/2 cup cashews to the pan, cooking for a few minutes until cashews are softened. Add the cashews (and none of the soaking water) to a high-powered blender or a food processor, then crumble in the tofu and add the rest of the ingredients. Blend until completely smooth, scrape out of the blender (this is the worst part because this stuff is thick!) and then put into a bowl and set aside. Try not to eat it; you'll need it all for the ravioli!

The long part

Once you have the filling together and the pasta dough has rested, it's time to put it all together! Get a few sheets of parchment and line some baking pans to make this part easier.

 If you have the Kitchen Aid pasta attachment I have, you'll use the one that makes sheets. Grab one of your pieces and put it through on setting 1 - the thickest setting. Then run it through on 4. Finally, run it through on 6. 

My glass was about 3 inches in diameter
and I think that was the perfect size.
You could use a cookie cutter or ravioli
maker if you're fancy like that.
You should have a long, thin sheet of pasta. Place the sheet on the baking pan. Take a glass that seems like a good size for ravioli and cut out circles. In the center of the circle, place 1/2 TBS filling and then pinch the sides shut. After you pinch them, take a fork and crimp them all around, to be sure your filling stays put. You'll wind up with scraps of pasta. Take those and run them through again and again until everything is used up. No need to waste! 

If you're like me and you did not double the filling, you will find that you cannot use all of the dough for ravioli because you do not have enough filling. I recommend popping on the linguine attachment and making noodles because they're really good!

I wound up with 50 ravioli - that's 100 circles cut out of dough, plus an accidental sad loss of two of the dough bits and two more dough bits turned into noodles. 

If you won't use them all, stick the ones you want to save on a parchment-lined baking sheet and put that in the freezer for an hour. You can then add it to a freezer bag or container and freeze until you're ready to use. You'll cook for 4-5 minutes when ready to use.

The easy part

Get a big pot, fill it with water, and bring it to a boil. Add salt, maybe 1 tsp or so? Pop the ravioli in about 8-10 at a time, trying to keep them from sticking together (they really don't unless you crowd them) and cook for 3-4 minutes. They'll float when they're done. Toss each 8-ravioli serving in 2 TBS pesto, then serve. 


For 8 ravioli (without sauce)

Calories: 408
Carbs: 59 g (29%)
Protein: 18.7 g (25%)
Fat: 11.7 g 
Fiber: 3.6 g
Sugars: 2.5 g 
Vitamin A: 53 IU 
Vitamin C: 1 mg
Calcium: 58 mg
Iron: 4.3 mg 

For 1/6 of the pesto (about 2 TBS)
Calories: 230
Carbs: 2.8 g (1%)
Protein: 2.4g (3%)
Fat: 25 g 
Fiber: 1 g
Sugars: .4 g
Vitamin A: 425 IU
Vitamin C: 2.1 mg
Calcium: 19.2 mg
Iron: .8 mg

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