I recently had the opportunity to take a cooking class in Boston’s North End, where I learned to make pasta dough for ravioli. It was a unique experience for me to be taught a method/process by a real live person (who has been making pasta for more than 30 years!), as I usually just go to YouTube or watch The Food Network to learn these kinds of things. The ingredients were definitely not vegan but, as I watched the process, I began to put together the things I would do to veganize it, which are all pretty easy. I loved replicating the process myself at home to produce a soft and nicely textured pasta, stuffed with two kinds of vegan cheese and finished off with a fantastic white wine sauce.
The steps to make all of the components here are a little time consuming; however, I found the whole process of making ravioli, as well as all of the other components, to be a nice, meditative process—and one that was worth the extra work and effort in the end. This recipe makes enough for three dinners for two, as you can freeze the ravioli and broth in measured portions, which makes prep for future dinners a breeze.
INGREDIENTS (to make 36 raviolis)
for the cheese filling
1 can of full-fat coconut milk
1 tsp coconut vinegar
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp powdered agar
2 TB nutritional yeast
1/2 cup of Daiya mozzarella shreds
pinch of dried nutmeg
a few dashes of fresh-cracked pepper
for the broth (to use in the sauce)
4 TB olive oil
2 large onions, roughly diced
10 oz white mushrooms, quartered
1 TB large-crystal salt
4 cups water
for the sauce
1 TB Earth Balance
1 TB olive oil
1/2 cup bella mushrooms, thinly sliced
2 shallots, minced
4 cloves garlic, minced
3/4 cup dry white wine
1 cup onion-mushroom broth (listed above)
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 cup chopped walnuts
3 TB chopped fresh parsley
To make the cheese: Bring the coconut milk, vinegar, salt and agar powder to a small boil in a saucepan. Remove from the heat and stir in the nutritional yeast. Pour into a glass pyrex dish to gel in the refrigerator for about an hour.Place the gelled cheese into a bowl and mash well with a fork. Add in the Daiya shreds and stir well to combine. Add in the pepper and nutmeg. Place back into the refrigerator.
To make the broth: Place all of the broth ingredients into a large pot and saute for about 25 minutes over medium heat, stirring frequently. Increase the heat to high, then add in the 4 cups of water. Bring to a boil, then immediately dial the heat back down to medium-low, and simmer for about an hour. Once it is cooled, squeeze the cooked vegetables over a bowl, then discard. Then strain the rest of the broth. Transfer to a container and place into the refrigerator.
To make the pasta dough: Place The Vegg, Ener-G and water into a Kitchen Aid Mixer or blender. Combine at the highest setting.
Pour out the 2 cups of flour into one pile on your countertop. Make a well in the center, then add half of the “egg” mixture. Knead it a bit, then add the rest of the egg mixture. The dough should be soft and silky, and should not stick to your fingers. Add a few splashes of water or extra flour as needed to achieve this consistency.
Separate the dough into four pieces and roll them into ball shapes. Flatten them out slightly. Place on a cutting board and drape a damp towel over it. Let the dough rest for 30-45 minutes.
To roll out your pasta: Flour your work area (I did this directly on my countertop), then take one of the pieces of dough and flatten it out using a rolling pin (I used this). Try to get it as thin as possible, and to apply consistent pressure to ensure that the thickness of the pasta is consistent throughout.
I used a ravioli mold to make these.
1. Flour the mold. Drape a piece of the rolled-out pasta over it. Place the plastic piece over the top to create little dip to place your cheese into. Remove it.
2. Fill the dips with your cheese mixture, about a teaspoon full. I placed a parsley leaf in first:
3. Next, roll out another piece of pasta, then drape it over the top. Using your fingers, gently press down all over the top to get rid of any air in between the cheese and pasta:
4. Take a rolling pin and roll it around the edges only (I found it easier to do this than to go over the entire top portion):
5. Remove the dough carefully from around the edges. Then, slowly turn it upside-down and gently push out the pasta with your fingers. Keep it really close to the counter. Then cut them apart, using a pasta wheel:
6. They are so pretty!
7. Place them on a rack to dry out for about an hour:
8. Place the raviolis in a single layer in a plastic bag. Place onto a cutting board for support, then place them into the freezer until ready to use:
When you are ready to make some of the pasta, remove the desired number from the freezer to slightly thaw for about 20 minutes before boiling.
To make your white wine sauce: Place the Earth Balance and olive oil into a skillet over medium heat. Add in the mushrooms, and saute for about 5 minutes. Then add in the shallots and garlic. Saute until softened, for 2-3 minutes more.
Turn the heat up to high, then add in the white wine. Allow to sizzle for a few minutes, then add in the broth and salt and allow to reduce by half. Then throw in the walnuts for about a minute. Remove from the heat and stir in the parsley.
To boil the pasta: bring plenty of salted water to a boil in a large pot. Add only 4-5 pieces of ravioli at a time, and boil for only a few minutes, until the pasta rises to the top of the pot.Serve the pasta piping hot with some of the wine wine sauce on top.