Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Sundried Tomato-Basil Tofu Ravioli

This recipe is not like the usual simple grub I've been posting. It took a lot longer to make than I'd like to admit. That being said, I can't decide if the thrill of anticipation or the actual devouring of something delicious is most satisfying to me after spending an hour or two preparing in the kitch. Either way, I'll eat!

After picking up some tofu and some pasta sheets that were on sale, I was inspired to make this veggie version of ravioli. I can't call this vegan, because the pasta sheets contained egg. Be sure to check your ingredients list if you use store bought pasta or won-ton wrappers. (they're not too difficult to make yourself... check out the recipe here). You can make a quick, easy pasta sauce while you assemble your ravioli, and just like some delusional teen wearing a purity ring, you can say, "this is worth waiting for" as you cook :)

The Whats:

* 1 14 oz. package firm tofu, pressed
* 1/4 cup nutritional yeast
* 2 tsp. olive oil
* 2 tsp. lemon juice
* 1 tsp. salt
* 1/2 tsp. pepper
* 5 or 6 basil leaves, torn into small pieces
* 6 sundried tomato halves, diced
* pasta sheets
* 1 tsp. corn starch and 1/4 cup lukewarm water, for assembling ravioli

The Hows:

1) Using your hands, crumble the tofu into a medium-sized mixing bowl. Add the salt, nutritional yeast, lemon juice, and olive oil, and using either your hands or a spatula, mix well until the consistency resembles a thick ricotta cheese. Mix in pepper, basil, and sundried tomato pieces. Set aside.

2) Roll out sheets of pasta on a clean, flat workspace. Using a 2 inch diameter round cookie cutter (I actually used the bottom of my 1 cup measuring cup and pressed hard into the pasta sheet!), cut pasta rounds from the sheets, ensuring you have an even amount of pasta rounds.

3) Whisk together the lukewarm water and cornstarch. Set aside. Place a tablespoon of tofu ricotta filling in the center of the pasta round. Using your finger, or a pastry brush, brush the edges of the pasta round with the cornstarch-water mix. Place another pasta round over the first, and using a little more of the cornstarch mix, seal the edges of the ravioli. Repeat until you have used all the pasta rounds or the tofu ricotta.

4) In a large stockpot, bring 4 quarts of water to a boil. Cook the ravioli for approximately 5 minutes- these cook quickly if using fresh pasta sheets. When cooked, remove ravioli with a slotted spoon and place in a sauce pan with one to two cups of warmed, fresh tomato sauce. Top with your favorite soy cheese and serve hot.

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