Friday, May 22, 2009

Homemade Ravioli with Tofu Tomato Sauce


so ridiculously delicious

I was in the middle of making this ravioli when I remembered that I needed to call my mom. Perfect, I thought, I can brag to her that I'm making ravioli from scratch! But when I called my parents' house my Dad answered the phone.

"Your mother's out," he told me.

"Where is she?"

"She's at a car rally with a bunch of guys."

Now, most of you don't know my mother, but let me tell you this. She is a kindergarten teacher. And she is pretty much what you'd picture when you picture a kindergarten teacher, albeit with a bit more sarcasm thrown into the mix. In short, not the type to hang out at car rallies. With bunches of guys.

"Where is Mom, really?" I asked my dad, "And by the way, I'm impressed that you made that up so quickly. Very convincing."

It took my dad about a minute to stop laughing. Turns out, my mother was out at a car rally with a bunch of guys. The car rally being something related to her school, perhaps for fundraising purposes, and the "guys" being her fellow teachers. One of them is a guy from Scotland who likes the Clash and has a big record collection, but he's probably the most edgy of the bunch.

So I told my Dad about my ravioli and he, in turn, told me about the onion soup he'd made after he'd seen Jamie Oliver do it on Jamie At Home. We all love Jamie at Home. I am excited that my Dad is showing an interest in cooking again. I think it's been a while. He cooks the way I cook, with concentration and a reasonable sense of adventure. He had a repertoire of dishes when I was a teenager- curries, homemade pizza, pasta with garlic and olive oil- but to my knowledge he hasn't cooked much in recent years. Thank you Jamie Oliver for getting my dad back in the kitchen! I'm sure my mom will thank you too. When she gets back from her car rally.

So! Ravioli! It started last week when the MoS and I were eating store bought ravioli and pondering the difficulty of making pasta from scratch at home. And then, like a sign from the God of Internet, The Pioneer Woman posted a recipe for make-it-yourself pasta. For which one did not need a pasta maker! Just a bowl, knife, and pot of boiling water. Holy crap, I though, could it possibly be that easy?

Yes. Yes it could be.

Of course the recipe (not vegan, sorry!) was for regular noodley pasta and I thought ravioli would be more fun. So there was a bit of improvising. But wow, was it ever worth the mild will-this-work? anxiety. This was delicious. And simple. Though time consuming, so make it when you have a bit of patience to spare.

ravioli raw

Homemade Ravioli with Tofu Tomato Sauce

First, the filling!

In a food processor or blender combine the following:

1 cup spinach
1/4 cup sun dried tomatoes
3 tbsp nutritional yeast
3 cloves of garlic
1/4 cup fresh parsley
1 tbsp olive oil
approximately one tsp each salt and pepper

Process all ingredients until they form a very thick paste. Set aside

Then, the pasta!

Using the afore-linked recipe, make one big sheet of pasta dough. Roll the crap out of it. Seriously, roll it until it is freakishly thin and then roll it some more.

Using a medium sized drinking glass, cut one circle out of the dough. Place the circle over a spoon and fill the divot up with your spinach filling. Then cover it with another circle. Use a fork to press the sides of the circles together.

ravioli!

Make sure your ravioli are dusted lightly with flour before you put them aside. Otherwise they'll stick in a most unpleasant fashion.

And... Sauce!

2 tbsp olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped small
3 cloves of garlic, chopped
2 tbsp red wine (optional)
a handful of mushrooms, chopped
1/4 cup tofu, crumbled
1 large can of diced tomatoes
a handful of fresh herbs or 1 tsp each dried parsley, basil, and oregano
2 tsp sugar
salt and pepper to taste

Heat olive oil on med-high heat and saute garlic and onion until onion is tender.

Add mushrooms, tofu, and wine and stir until mushrooms are tender. Then add diced tomatoes, herbs, sugar, and salt and pepper.

Reduce heat and let sauce simmer for five minutes. If you want a smoother sauce you can blend a portion of the sauce and then mix it all back together.

And let's bring it on home!

To the cook the pasta, bring a large pot of salted water to rolling boil and then dump all the pasta into it.

The pasta cooks in about two or three minutes so don't go getting all distracted with the internet or anything.

When your ravioli are floating, they are done. Dump the pot into a strainer, rinse the ravioli, and toss it in a bit of olive oil.

Serve with tomato sauce to your amazed dinner companion(s).

ravioli cooked

Some notes:

-I'm sure I wasn't alone in thinking that one needed fancy pasta making tools in order to make palatable pasta at home. But pasta makers and ravioli molds and the like are just to make the process easier. They are absolutely not necessary. Anyone with basic kitchen utensils and a bit of time could make this. I can't wait to try making fettuccine next. And lasagna with homemade noodles! The possibilities are endless.

-I would like to look into making a vegan version of this pasta. If anyone has a link to a reliable recipe, please let me know.

-I don't even know what a car rally is.

J.

4 comments:

Linnea said...

This is sick, yo! Totally amazing. Would be good if someone could recommend an egg-free version of the pasta.

Cyn said...

Wow! That pasta looks amazing. And tofu tomato sauce sounds awesome.

I think that Vegan Dad had some vegan pasta recipes up on his site.

'col said...

It's where all the cars get together to lobby for automotive rights, silly!

steph said...

This looks delicious!