Alfredo Ravioli (and a beautiful white morning)

Alfredo Ravioli -- Epicurean Vegan

First, I had to snap a few pictures this morning of the snow because by tomorrow, most of it will be gone. This is a photog’s dream and the time I love snow—so beautiful.

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So anyway, as you probably know, I go through phases when I discover certain meals. For example, when I discovered stuffed peppers, I made about 10 different versions . . . same with frittatas and tofu scrambles. Now I’m on to my latest obsession: Ravioli. At least I have the process down to a science so preparation goes a lot smoother. I was hankering for some of this Alfredo sauce, but I was also craving ravioli. Typically, I don’t like to pair ravioli with a heavy sauce, but to hell with rules; this was too good not to try. I changed up the dough a little because I didn’t have enough semolina flour and it worked out nicely. These are stuffed with tofu ricotta and fresh spinach—a fabulous combo. For a more in-depth description on using a ravioli plate, check out this version.

INGREDIENTS:

Dough:

1 C semolina flour
2 C whole wheat pastry flour
1 tsp salt
1 C almond milk, warm
2 Tbs olive oil

Filling:

14-oz pkg. extra firm tofu, drained, pressed and crumbled
1 tsp dried basil
1 tsp dried rosemary
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
2 Tbs lemon juice
1/3 C nutritional yeast
1/3 C Daiya mozzarella (optional)
2 C chopped spinach

Sauce:

1 C raw cashews
2 Tbs pine nuts
1-1/2 C water
4 tsp lemon juice
1 tsp garlic, minced
1/16 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
1/4 C nutritional yeast
1 to 2 C mushrooms, sliced

DIRECTIONS:

Start with making the dough. In a large bowl, combine the flours and salt. Create a well in the middle and slowly pour in the almond milk and oil. Using a spoon, or your hands, combine well. Transfer to a lightly floured surface and knead for at least 5 minutes. Shape into a ball, cover with plastic, and set aside.

Next, throw together the ricotta. Combine all of the ingredients, except the spinach and cheese, in a food processor and blend well. Transfer to a bowl and stir in the spinach and cheese. Set aside.

Alfredo Ravioli -- Epicurean Vegan

Next, roll out the dough. I used my pasta maker, but you may certainly use a rolling pin. Lay one long sheet over the ravioli mold and fill each pocket with just over a teaspoon of filling.

Alfredo Ravioli -- Epicurean Vegan

Lay another thin sheet of dough over the top, press down and use a rolling pin to seal the edges. Again, refer to this post on how to use a ravioli plate. Place the raviolis on a baking sheet and repeat the process until you have used up all of the filling. I had just a small amount of dough left, but not much. I had 75 raviolis when it was all said and done. Cover and set aside.

Alfredo Ravioli -- Epicurean Vegan

Time to make the sauce. Using a blender, grind the cashews and pine nuts to a fine powder. Add the nutritional yeast, water, lemon juice, garlic, nutmeg, and salt. Blend until completely smooth—about 1 minute. Transfer to a medium saucepan and whisk over medium heat until it begins to boil. Reduce heat and let it simmer for 5-7 minutes; stir in the black pepper. I sauteed the mushrooms first, then stirred them into the sauce.

Alfredo Ravioli -- Epicurean Vegan

Keeping the sauce warm on very low heat, bring a large pot of water to a boil. I cooked about 12-15 raviolis at a time for about 4-5 minutes per batch. Using a slotted spoon, place them in a strainer. Serve immediately, or lay them out on a large pan, otherwise, they’ll stick to each other. You can drizzle a little olive oil on them as well, to keep them separated. Ladle on some sauce and enjoy!

Alfredo Ravioli -- Epicurean Vegan

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Cashew Alfredo and Roasted Asparagus

Cashew Alfredo & Roasted Asparagus -- Epicurean Vegan

 

The Alfredo recipe is from The Kind Life and is probably the best vegan Alfredo sauce I’ve tried thus far. The taste and consistency is perfect. The only thing I added was some nutritional yeast and some sliced mushrooms. Paired with the asparagus, it was a fantastic meal!

INGREDIENTS:

Alfredo:

1 C raw cashews
2 Tbs pine nuts
1-1/2 C water
4 tsp lemon juice
1 tsp garlic, minced
1/16 tsp nutmeg
1-1/2 tsp salt (I used 1 tsp)
1/2 tsp black pepper
1/4 C nutritional yeast
4 C pasta (I used 16 oz of orecchiette, a.k.a “suction cup pasta)
1 to 2 C mushrooms, sliced

Asparagus:

1 bunch of asparagus, ends trimmed
1-2 Tbs olive oil
Salt

Cashew Alfredo -- Epicurean Vegan

 

DIRECTIONS:

Preheat the oven to 400. In a large bowl, coat the asparagus with the olive oil and season with salt; set aside. To make the sauce, grind the nuts in a blender until you reach a fine powder. Add the nutritional yeast, water, lemon juice, garlic, nutmeg, and salt. Blend until completely smooth—about 1 minute. Transfer to a medium saucepan and whisk over medium heat until it begins to boil. Reduce heat and let it simmer for 5-7 minutes; stir in the black pepper and mushrooms. It won’t take long to thicken up and stir it often to keep it from burning.

Cashew Alfredo -- Epicurean Vegan

 

Transfer the asparagus to a baking sheet and as soon as you add your pasta to a pot to boil it, throw the asparagus in the oven. Incidentally, they’re both take about 14 minutes to cook.

Roasted Asparagus -- Epicurean Vegan

Turn the asparagus halfway through—about 7 minutes. Cook another 7 minutes.

Roasted Asparagus -- Epicurean Vegan

Perfect!

Drain the pasta and serve with sauce ladled on top. (The Eighth Grader cut up his asparagus and added it to the pasta and loved it). Enjoy!

Cashew Alfredo -- Epicurean Vegan

 

Hurry Up Alfredo

This comes from Lauren Ulm’s cookbook, Vegan Yum Yum and is by far the best non-dairy “cheese” sauce I’ve tasted yet! The only thing I changed was adding 1/2 C Tofutti sour cream which made this sauce perfectly creamy!

INGREDIENTS:

3-4 C small pasta
Sauce:
1 C soy milk
1/3 rounded raw, unsalted cashews
1/4 C nutritional yeast
3 Tbs tamari (or soy sauce)
2 Tbs Earth Balance (or Smart Balance) margarine
1 Tbs tahini
1 Tbs lemon juice
2 tsp Dijon mustard
1/2 tsp paprika
1 pinch nutmeg
1 pinch salt
Black pepper, to taste
2-4 garlic cloves
I added 1/2C Tofutti Sour Cream and used SMOKED paprika and WOW! It was so creamy and flavorful!

DIRECTIONS:

Bring a pot of water to a boil and add noodles. Cook until tender, but not mushy. Meanwhile, to make sauce, mix all sauce ingredients in a food processor or blender until smooth. When noodles are finished, drain and return to pot. Add as much sauce as you’d like and heat and stir. (What I did is transfer the sauce to a small saucepan and heat–this is also when I added the Tofutti sour cream. Then I just ladled the sauce on a serving of pasta). Top with Rice Parmesan and enjoy!

Note: for leftovers, I don’t recommend microwaving them. Keep sauce separate from pasta leftovers and reheat sauce in a pan over the stove and nuke the noodles. Sauce gets too dried out otherwise.

Recipe source: Vegan Yum Yum