After a wonderful, but whirlwind of a weekend in NYC with the girls, a hearty Italian meal seemed like the perfect way to finish off the weekend. With a recent urge to make homemade ravioli (it was my first time!), I decided this was the night to go for it. I completely winged it (no ravioli cutter or much consultation with books, blogs or family members) - but sometimes those meals are the best. The ones you have no real idea of how it will turn out, but you simply surrender to the fact that its cool if it works out or not. This time, it worked out and I even got a ‘best- raviolis-in-the-world-award’ from Matt (which I actually dont agree with, but Ill take it!). At the least, his optimism will encourage me to make them again!
serves about 4
Ingredients for Pasta
- 2 cups whole wheat flour
- 1 cup water (or until dough ball forms)
- dash of sea salt
Ingredients for ‘Ricotta Filling’
- 1 package tofu, crumbled
- 2 tbsp nutritional yeast
- 1 /2 package fresh spinach, cooked (or frozen spinach works too)
- lemon juice, to taste
- salt, pepper, garlic salt to taste
Ingredients for Sweet Potato Filling
- 1-2 medium-large sweet potatoes
- sea salt, cinnamon, nutmeg
Ingredients Butter Sage Sauce
- 1/2 cup Earth Balance
- 1 bunch of sage, chopped
- 1 tbsp maple syrup
- 2 tbsp lemon juice
- cinnamon and nutmeg to taste
Make the ‘Ricotta’ filling: In a medium bowl, crumble up the tofu with a fork. Add noosh, lemon juice and spices all to taste (For me, I tend to not measure, so its actually hard to say how much I use of each. Thus my measurements above are an approximation, so I leave it to you to experiment as well). Meanwhile, saute the spinach in a pan on low heat until wilted. Gently mix in the spinach to the tofu mix and set aside.
Make the Sweet Potato Filling: On medium heat, boil peeled potatoes in about 2 cups of water. Once cooked (about 10-15 minutes), strain and mash with fork in a medium bowl. Add spices and Earth balance to taste. Set filling aside.
Back to the pasta: Divide the dough into 4 small balls. Flour your surface and roll out dough into a square about 1/4 inch thick (or the thickness of a pie crust). Take whichever filling you choose and scoop about 1-2 tbsp of filling on the bottom pasta layer. Leave about 1-2 inches between each filling scoop so there is enough room to cut out your ravioli. See picture below.
Next, place another layer of pasta on top and seam the outer edges together (like you would a pie crust) and also lightly press around each filling to start to shape the individual ravioli. To cut the ravioli you can opt to simply use a knife or use the top of a glass and cut them into 3-inch circles. Once you cut them out, continue to seam the edges to ensure that there are no holes (it becomes a ravioli disaster if the filling comes out once boiling).
And here are your homemade ravi prior to boiling!
Make the Sauce/s (simultaneous to cooking pasta): For the Butter Sage Sauce, combine all ingredients into a small saucepan on low heat. Let it stay warm on low heat until you are ready to pour over the Sweet Potato Ravioli.
For the Marinara: Try this one – Muma’s Homemade Sauce (or if its just too much, you can always use jarred sauce – which I do not prefer, but understand if there is too much going on already. Just add some fresh basil to the sauce before lathering on Ricotta Ravioli and it will be an acceptable stand in).
Time to cook and bring it all together: Once all the ravioli are prepared, boil about 4 cups of water in a large sauce pan (if you arent sure which size to use opt for the bigger pan). Once the water is boiled, gently drop in and cover. They should boil about 5-10 minutes or until they begin to float to the top of the water. Strain and let them dry off a few minutes before topping with Butter Sage Sauce or marinara.
Pictured below is the Sweet Potato-filled Ravioli with Butter Sage Sauce