Pine Nut & Cashew Ravioli with Fresh Mushrooms, Tomatoes & Basil

Pine Nut and Cashew Ravioli with Fresh Mushrooms, Tomatoes and Basil -- Epicurean VeganI’m finally back with a new recipe! As much as I love them, I don’t use pine nuts often because they’re rather pricey, but I picked some up on sale. They add such a decadent flavor to dishes and this is no exception. Combined with cashews, they make an ideal stuffing for ravioli. The fresh veggies on top complete the meal.

INGREDIENTS
Dough
1-1/2 C semolina flour
1/2 C whole wheat pastry flour
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 C warm unsweetened almond milk
1 Tbs olive oil
Filling
1/2 C pine nuts
1 C roasted, unsalted cashews
2 Tbs nutritional yeast
2 Tbs lemon juice
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
1 C fresh spinach
Topping
2 Tbs Earth Balance
3 cloves garlic, minced
3 C cremini mushrooms, sliced
2 large tomatoes, diced
1 C fresh basil, chopped
2 Tbs red wine
Salt and pepper

DIRECTIONS
You can soak the nuts for several hours to overnight, or to speed things up, in a medium bowl, pour boiling water over the nuts and let sit for 2 hours. Sometimes, I only soak them for an hour or so; I don’t mind if the filling isn’t perfectly smooth, so it’s up to you. To prepare the dough, whisk together the two flours and the salt. Whisk in the warm almond milk and oil. Sometimes it’s easier to use your hands to combine everything; use what works. Transfer the dough to a very lightly floured surface and knead for 5-7 minutes until the dough is smooth. Cover in plastic wrap and set aside. To make the filling, drain the nuts and add them to a food processor. Process them for about 30 seconds to get them a bit pureed. Add the rest of the ingredients and puree 1-2 minutes until smooth. Set aside.

Pine Nut and Cashew Ravioli with Fresh Mushrooms, Tomatoes and Basil -- Epicurean VeganAs you probably recall, I like to use my pasta maker and a ravioli plate to make raviolis, and I have to say, the process gets easier and quicker each time. I recommend at least getting a ravioli plate—you can find one for under $20 on Amazon.
Pine Nut and Cashew Ravioli with Fresh Mushrooms, Tomatoes and Basil -- Epicurean VeganI ended up with 44 raviolis . . .
Pine Nut and Cashew Ravioli with Fresh Mushrooms, Tomatoes and Basil -- Epicurean VeganI then let them sit for about 20 minutes. Meanwhile, I prepared the topping. In a small bowl, combine the tomatoes and basil; season with salt and pepper. In a medium skillet, heat the Earth Balance and add the garlic. Saute for 3-4 minutes, then add the mushrooms. Cook for two minutes, then add the wine and cook another 2-3 minutes, or until the mushrooms soften. Remove from heat and stir in the tomatoes and basil.
Pine Nut and Cashew Ravioli with Fresh Mushrooms, Tomatoes and Basil -- Epicurean VeganBring a large pot of water to a boil and cook the ravioli (about a dozen at a time) for 3-5 minutes. They will float to the top and puff up a little when they’re ready. I usually serve them as they finish cooking so they stay hot. If you want to cook them all first, I suggest transferring them to a large, oiled baking sheet. Otherwise, they’ll stick together. Serve with a scoop or two of the fresh topping and enjoy!
Pine Nut and Cashew Ravioli with Fresh Mushrooms, Tomatoes and Basil -- Epicurean Vegan

Homemade Gluten-Free Ravioli

Homemade Gluten-Free Ravioli -- Epicurean Vegan

Nothing says Easter like ravioli, right? Well, if you’re vegan and some of your dinner guests can’t eat gluten, then yes, raviolis are an ideal Easter meal—or for any occasion, actually. In all of the excitement, I didn’t get a good picture of the finished product with the amazing garlic-butter-walnut sauce, but I did get one with some regular raviolis that I made as well.

Vegan Ravioli -- Epicurean Vegan

In addition to the raviolis, one guest brought some delicious vegan horseradish mashed potatoes, roasted Brussels sprouts with pecans and another guest brought this incredible corn and avocado salad.  So, I was living on the edge when I decided to not do a test run on the gluten-free dough before the big day. Luckily, it turned out ok, but not before having a slight meltdown when the GF dough wouldn’t fully cooperate with me. First off, don’t try using your pasta maker; the dough will fall apart. You’re better off using a rolling pin and lots of GF flour to roll it out. Believe me, it’s doable and worth the extra effort; just be patient. I also recommend using a ravioli plate like this one—and that goes for any type of raviolis—it just makes life easier. For the filling, I made two: pureed beet/cashew and tofu ricotta with spinach and mushrooms. Make it easy on yourself and prepare these fillings ahead of time and refrigerate until ready to use. If I was unable to eat gluten, I would miss homemade pasta, especially raviolis, so I’d be making these all the time. Our GF guests loved them and happily took the few leftovers home with them. My friend Kerrie gave me a conversion for GF flour and regular flour a while back and uses it for most things, so I thought I’d give it a whirl for pasta. Basically, for every 1 cup of regular flour, use 7/8 C of rice flour and 1 teaspoon of xanthan gum—worked like a charm.

INGREDIENTS:

Dough:

1-3/4 C white rice flour
7/8 C brown rice flour
3 tsp xanthan gum
1 tsp salt
1 C warm almond milk
2 Tbs olive oil

Spinach-Tofu-Mushroom Filling:

14-oz pkg extra firm tofu, drained and pressed
1 tsp dried basil
1 tsp dried rosemary
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
1/3 C nutritional yeast
2 Tbs lemon juice
3 C fresh spinach, chopped
3 mushrooms, diced small

Beet/Cashew filling: see link above

Garlic-Butter-Walnut sauce: (I was feeding a crowd, so for 3-4 people, you may want to halve the sauce recipe)
1-1/2 C walnuts, chopped
6 cloves garlic, crushed or minced
1-1/2 C Earth Balance margarine, cut into pieces

DIRECTIONS:

To make the spinach filling, puree the first 9 ingredients in food processor. Set aside, or refrigerate until ready to use. The beet filling will take just over an hour to prepare, so keep that in mind if using that one. (click on link above to see instructions).

Ravioli Filling -- Epicurean Vegan

To make the dough, combine both rice flours, xanthan gum, and salt in a bowl of a stand mixer. On medium speed, slowly add the oil, then the warm almond milk. When it’s fully incorporated, form it into a ball and refrigerate if not using right away. The dough will probably work better if it’s room temperature.

Gluten-Free Ravioli Dough -- Epicurean Vegan

On a constantly-floured surface, roll out the sections of the dough into long pieces, big enough for your ravioli plate. I wouldn’t bother using the plastic mold part, as it will easily break through the dough. Gently use your fingers to create a small dip where the filling will go. Fill each dip with about a teaspoon of the filling. If using the spinach one, place a few pieces of mushroom on top of the filling. Roll out another long piece of dough and place it carefully over the top of the filling and gently press down. You can use the rolling pin to then finish the process. (This is a great YouTube video showing how to use the plate). Here’s a pic of the regular dough with the fillings:

Homemade Gluten-Free Ravioli -- Epicurean Vegan

I was pleasantly surprised at how well they turned out. A couple of them had some a filling peeking out, but they still cooked up great.

Homemade Gluten-Free Ravioli -- Epicurean Vegan

Let them sit for 20 minutes. While this is happening, prepare the sauce. In a medium, dry saucepan, add the walnuts and brown them over medium heat for 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for 2 minutes, then add the Earth Balance. Stir over low to medium heat until the butter is melted and reduce the heat to low.  To cook the raviolis, boil them, about 4-6 at a time, for 3-4 minutes, or until they float to the surface. I usually give them a minute more, just to make sure they’re heated though.

Homemade Gluten-Free Ravioli

I’m happy to tell you that none of them fell apart and they were delicious. The regular ones seemed to taste a little sweeter, but otherwise, they tasted very much like regular raviolis! Top them with a ladle of the garlic sauce and enjoy!

Homemade Ravioli

Homemade Ravioli -- Epicurean VeganI bought a pasta maker many years ago and used it a few times. Then, two years ago, when we moved, I couldn’t find the damn thing. Even though it was something I hardly used, I was determined to find it. But I couldn’t. I figured it had run off with my white Chantel soup pot because it too, was missing. So last December, I was digging around in the laundry room for something else entirely, when I opened a bin that was supposed to contain miscellaneous crap. Well, there it was. Along with soup pot. I let out a celebratory yelp and the Husband rushed in, wondering what my deal was. When I showed him that I finally captured the elusive kitchen appliance, I assumed he’d be as excited as I was and happy that I’d quit lamenting over losing the thing. But he didn’t seem too thrilled.  He left the room and returned with a wrapped box, about the same size of the box I held in my hands. “I’ll take this one back tomorrow,” he mumbled. He had gotten me a new pasta maker to replace the one I “lost.” He was really happy that I found it, but then he had to come up with something else to give me for Christmas.

So jump to October 2011, nearly a year later. It was the first time I used that stupid pasta maker since finding it. I know, it’s terrible . . . the Husband wasn’t even home to enjoy these raviolis! But now that I have some practice, I’ll make more of an effort to use it because there’s nothing like fresh pasta. Making fresh pasta, however, isn’t always easy, especially raviolis—it will take some trial and error to get these right. Regardless of their less-than-pretty appearance, they were delicious!

INGREDIENTS:
Dough:
1 C flour
1 C semolina flour
Dash of salt
1 Tbs olive oil
1/2 to 3/4 C water

Filling: (I used my go-to ricotta cheese recipe)
1-14oz pkg extra firm tofu, drained and pressed
1/3 C nutritional yeast
1 C fresh basil
2 Tbs fresh rosemary
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
2 Tbs lemon juice
1/2 C Daiya mozzarella shreds
The rest:
1 jar of marinara or spaghetti sauce

DIRECTIONS:
Using a food processor with the sharp blade, pulse the flours and salt together. While the machine is running, add the oil and water. The dough shouldn’t be sticky.

Homemade Ravioli -- Epicurean Vegan

Knead the dough using some all purpose flour. Using small pieces of dough, feed it into the pasta maker—the widest setting, then one notch thinner, then a third time on the next thinner notch. The Seventh Grader and I didn’t quite figure this method out until halfway through, but oh well, we had fun experimenting. His job was to cut the rolled out dough into squares.

Homemade Ravioli -- Epicurean Vegan

Place the squares on a cookie sheet or cutting board to dry a little—about 20 minutes. Meanwhile, combine all the filling ingredients, except the mozzarella, in a food processor. Transfer to a bowl and stir in the cheese. Place a small scoop, about a teaspoon of filling in the middle of each ravioli square.

Homemade Ravioli -- Epicurean Vegan

There are other ways of doing this. I think it’s better to NOT cut squares first, but to have a long piece of rolled out dough, place the filling dollops in a line and fold over the dough, then cut using a pastry wheel to seal the edges.

Homemade Ravioli -- Epicurean Vegan

I finally got smart and used the pastry wheel to seal the edges instead of a using a fork, but accumulated an unusable pile of dough shrapnel.

Anyway, we ended up with pretty ghetto ravioli.

Homemade Ravioli -- Epicurean Vegan

In batches of 5-6, add them to boiling water and cook for about 2-3 minutes; remove with a slotted spoon. Top with warm spaghetti sauce and enjoy!

Spinach and Mushroom Ravioli

Spinach and Mushroom Ravioli -- Epicurean VeganI lost my pasta maker. You’re probably wondering, how on earth do you lose a twenty-five pound kitchen appliance? Well, if I knew that, it wouldn’t be lost, right? ;) Somehow, it didn’t make the one mile move to our new house a year ago—and we didn’t use movers; just us. Apparently, the pasta maker in question ran away with my Chantal soup pot because it’s missing as well. Not sure what kitchen conspiracy happened, but I’m hopeful that someday, both (and whatever else was in the box) turns up. So I don’t recommend making ravioli without a pasta maker, otherwise, the process is a lot harder than it needs to be. The taste however, was well-worth the work. There’s nothing like fresh pasta.

INGREDIENTS:
Pasta Dough:
1/3 C nutritional yeast
2 C flour
1 Tbs olive oil
Dash or two of salt
1/2 to 3/4 C water

The rest:
1-1/2 C sliced mushrooms
1-1/2 C chopped spinach
1 C vegan mozzarella, shredded
1 jar marinara sauce

Yummy, gluten-free sauce.
In a food processor with the sharp S blade, pulse the nutritional yeast a few times to make a fine powder. Then switch to the plastic dough/bread blade.

Spinach and Mushroom Ravioli -- Epicurean VeganAdd the flour and salt and pulse to combine. While the machine is running, add olive oil and water to form an elastic-y dough.

Spinach and Mushroom Ravioli -- Epicurean VeganRoll out small pieces of dough at a time into a long rectangle. I used a pizza cutter to slice into squares. Place some spinach, 2-3 mushroom slices and a pinch or two of cheese.

Spinach and Mushroom Ravioli -- Epicurean VeganI then folded over one side and pinched the edges.

Spinach and Mushroom Ravioli -- Epicurean Vegan

To seal the edges, I used the pizza cutter to the three sides.

Spinach and Mushroom Ravioli -- Epicurean VeganI ended up with 18 pretty ugly raviolis that I placed on floured waxed paper, otherwise, if they sit too long, they will stick to the surface and it would be a terrible mess.

Spinach and Mushroom Ravioli -- Epicurean VeganI boiled about 3-4 raviolis at a time, then transferred to an oiled, glass dish. Be sure to turn the ravioli once to cook the tops and bottoms—about 1 minute per side.

Spinach and Mushroom Ravioli -- Epicurean VeganBrush the tops with olive oil as well. Ladle sauce over individual servings and top with any remaining vegan mozzarella. Enjoy!