Sunday, September 4, 2011

Homemade Ravioli

I actually made and enjoyed this recipe a while ago, but the first week of senior year held me back from posting it!

A few summers ago, making homemade pasta was probably my favorite cooking pastime. I made it all the time, and I ended up with a hand-crank pasta roller and a ravioli press that have been collecting dust ever since. Last week, before summer ended and I got all caught up in school, I broke out the pasta machinery one more time to make some awesome (vegan!) ravioli.

Zucchini and Spinach-filled Ravioli
Pasta Dough:
2 cups white whole wheat flour
a pinch of salt
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 cup water

7 oz (about 1/2 a package) firm tofu
1 cup packed fresh spinach
1 tablespoon miso paste
1 tablespoon lemon juice
2 tablespoons tahini
1 clove garlic
salt and pepper
1/2 cup water, plus more if needed
2 medium zucchini, grated
1 cup ground almonds
olive oil

1. To make pasta dough: Mix flour and salt in a large bowl, add the olive oil and water, and work with your hands until you can form a ball out of the dough. You may need more water to make the dough workable. Wrap the dough in plasitc wrap and let it rest while you make the filling.

2. To make the filling: Combine the tofu, spinach, miso, lemon juice, tahini, garlic, salt, pepper, and water in a blender, and blend until smooth. In a saute pan, cook the zucchini with just a drizzle of olive oil until it's soft and most of the water has cooked out. Add the tofu mixture and ground almonds to the zucchini and stir to combine.

 3. Roll the pasta into sheets using a pasta roller, starting at the thickest setting and working down to the next-to-thinnest setting. Work with about 1/4 of the dough at a time. If you don't have a pasta roller, you can roll the dough out with a rolling pin, just try to make it very thin (probably about 1/16").

4. Lay one sheet of pasta in the ravioli press, fill with about 1 teaspoon filling, brush the edges of each ravioli with water, then lay another pasta sheet on top. Roll a rolling pin over the press to separate the ravioli, then turn the press over and remove the ravioli. If you don't have a ravioli press, simply drop the filling by teaspoonfuls onto a pasta sheet, making sure to leave about 2 inches between each scoop. Brush water in between the scoops and lay a pasta sheet on top, pressing to seal the ravioli. Then use a knife to cut the pasta sheet into ravioli.

5. You can place the filled ravioli on a floured baking sheet, cover them with plastic wrap, and save them to cook later, or you can cook them immediately. To cook, simply boil a big pot of water, add a pinch of salt, and drop in the ravioli a few at a time. Cook them for about 3 minutes, then remove with a slotted spoon, and drop a few more in the pot.

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