Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Unidentified Filled Object: Vegan Ravioli



The idea of making your own pasta does appear to be very daunting.
I'm hear to tell you not to fear, fresh delicious, egg-free pasta
very near. You don't need a pasta roller or a ravioli cutter to
make awesome ravioli. Although, if you have them on hand it would
cut your prep time in half at least.

I find it strange that the majority of pasta you buy is egg-free,
but 98% of pasta recipes you find call for at least two eggs.

I'm now at the stage of experimenting with different flours and
colours with spinach and tomato, but this you will find is a
great place to start with either unbleached all-purpose dough
or semolina flour.

Basic Basic Vegan Pasta Dough

1 cup flour
1/4-1/3 cup water
1 tablespoon olive oil

Slowly incorporate the water into the flour by adding only a 1/4
of a cup at first. Only add a few drops at a time after that
as you go or else you dough will get sticky fast. What you want
is a nice dense brick. It may seem too dry, but just keep working
it before adding more water.

I keep a bowl of water on hand though to seal any cracks that
may occur later.

After mixing everything together, knead for about 5 minutes.
Let rest for 10 minutes and knead and rest again. Its easy to get
frustrated if making the dough by hand, but all that you need to
do is be sure to let your dough rest often. Allowing your dough
to rest will allow the gluten to relax and activate, yielding
a smooth texture.

On a very lightly floured surface begin to roll out your dough.
Whenever it seems like its getting too tough, just let it rest
a moment and try again. I don't know exactly what thickness to
say you should roll it out too, but I would say that of a
regular piece of denim if you were to hold it between your
fingers.

Plop your prepared filling onto the dough and wet the dough
with your fingers around the area so it will seal when the top
layer is pressed down. The filling should be spaced about
and inch apart on half the the rolled-out dough. With a
sharp knife cut off half of the dough and place it over the side
with the filling. Press down and cut out the squares.

For some reason I had a bizarre compulsion to make them round,
so I used a glass to trace the size and ended up sealing
them one at a time.

By the time you're pressing the edges individually, it may start
to dry out. So, you may have to gently wipe it with damp fingers
to continue sealing them or shaping if you are making plain pasta.
Drop the ravioli into boiling water and cook until al dente,
anywhere from 3-7 minutes. They will start to look soft and
slightly more translucent.





Here is my little tester...


Then the whole shabang....


Topped with a cheesy sauce next to a nice salad...


Pumpkin and sage...


Red pepper and tofu ricotta!


You can also save these and freeze before the boiling stage
for later. And you can fill them with practically anything-
I'm already thinking of a four vegan cheese ravioli!

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