Friday, August 7, 2009

Ravioli with Pesto Cream

Do you like awesomeness? Then you will love this dish. The pesto cream is amazing and has no added fat, and is the perfect topping to tender homemade pasta. I know I said I would never make ravioli again, but I had some serious procrastinating to do today.

Cashew Cream
- 1 cup raw cashews
- 1 1/2 cups water

Tofu Ricotta Filling (slightly adapted from Isa's recipe)
- 1 pound firm tofu, pressed
- 2 tsp lemon juice
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- handful fresh basil leaves, chopped fine (ten leaves or so)
- 1/4 tsp salt
- dash fresh black pepper

- 1/4 cup of the cashew cream (more if needed)
- 1/4 cup nutritional yeast flakes

Pesto Cream (adapted from Isa's recipe)
- 1/2 cup pine nuts
- 3 cups basil leaves
- 2 cloves garlic, chopped
- 2 teaspoons lemon juice
- 1/4 cup nutritional yeast flakes
- remainder of the cashew cream
- salt to taste

- 1 recipe fresh pasta dough

Cashew Cream: place cashews in a blender and pour in enough of the water to cover. Blend into a paste. Add the rest of the water and blend until very smooth.

Tofu Ricotta (for ravioli):
1. In a large bowl, mush the tofu up with your hands.
2. Add lemon juice, garlic, salt and pepper and basil. Mush with hands again until smooth and reaches the consistency of ricotta cheese.
3. Add cashew cream, stir with fork. You want the tofu to be creamy, but not wet or soggy. You should be able to form it into balls with your hands. Add nutritional yeast and combine all ingredients well.

Pesto Cream
1. Dry roast pine nuts in a pan over medium heat until golden (around 5 mins). Place in a food processor with basil, garlic, and lemon juice. Process until blended together.
2. With motor running, drizzle in cashew cream and blend until smooth (does not have to be super smooth--a little texture is nice).
3. Heat pesto cream gently in a saucepan and spoon over cooked ravioli.

When I made ravioli before, I used this method. I made the dough too thin, though. This time I rolled the dough to number 5, and used a pastry wheel to get the funky edge. I also made smaller ravioli (about 2 x 2 inches. This recipe will yield about 45 ravioli with a generous tsp of filling in each. I let them dry on a linen towel for about 30 mins. The end result was a durable yet tender ravioli that did not break apart in the water.