Thursday, April 10, 2008

Homemade Ravioli And A Light Marinara

I love making fresh pasta. I don't always have time, but when I do I will gladly spend an hour preparing the pasta. And believe me, I have tried and failed many times-- a lot of dough has ended up in the trash-- but a good end result always makes me want to keep trying. Obviously I had time today, and I decided to make ravioli to change things up.

I have a hand-crank pasta maker. Here's a crappy/blurry picture of it:

If you don't and you still want to make pasta, you can use a rolling pin. It's just more difficult.
Also, today was the first time I used an egg replacer. If you don't want to use it, just use water. I tried it today because I thought it might firm it up a little, but I honestly am not sure. It was the best batch I've made, but every batch has been better than the last, so it could have been that.

I cut the pasta by hand but you can buy all sorts of fun pasta cutters. I live by a great cookware/bakeware/coffee place called Fante's. They carry pasta cutters and pasta makers, and they have pretty decent prices. Plus it comes in handy for other things, too (like the whole wheat crackers I also made today).

Okay, enough babble! I have a pasta recipe and a filling recipe for you, and a very basic and light marinara.

Basic Pasta (adapted from Bob's Red Mill's pasta recipe)

  • 1 1/2 c. semolina flour
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 Tbsp. Ener-G egg replacer powder beaten into 4 Tbsp. warm water
  • 2 Tbsp. water
  • 2 Tbsp. oil (you can use more water instead)
Combine the semolina flour and salt in a medium sized bowl. Add all the wet ingredients and stir with a fork until combined. Dump onto a floured surface and knead for 10 minutes. Semolina is a very firm flour, so this won't get stretchy and soft the way all-purpose flour does. It should not be sticky at all, butt you may need to add another tsp. or two of water if it seems really dry.

After kneading, roll the dough into a ball, wrap in plastic wrap, and let it rest for 20 minutes. Use this time to make your ravioli filling and/or sauce.

Remove the plastic and cut into four pieces. As you roll out each piece, keep the unrolled ones covered loosely to prevent them from drying out. If you have a pasta maker, I usually roll them through the fifth setting. Start at 1, roll it through, fold in half and repeat; work your way up to five. It should be a rectangular strip. Place it on a floured surface and flour the top generously, then do the same to the other three pieces.

You can cut these into fettuccine, spaghetti, etc., or you can cut them into even square pieces to make ravioli. Or you can do circles to make tortellini, but it helps if you've watched someone make tortellini as it's sort of hard to explain.

Ravioli, on the other hand, is mostly self-explanatory. Take a square of the dough, put a bit of filling in the middle, and place another square on top. Press down the edges and use a fork's prongs to seal the edges. Drop into a pot of boiling water and cook for about 2 minutes, if that-- it overcooks really easily. Mine looked like this before cooking:

For the filling:
  • 1 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced or pressed
  • 1/2 c. sliced portabello mushrooms
  • 1 package firm tofu, drained and cubed
  • 2 tsp. lemon juice
  • 1 Tbsp. fresh parsley, minced
  • 1/4 tsp. dried, rubbed sage
  • 1/4 tsp. dried rosemary
  • 1/4 tsp. dried thyme
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. ground black pepper
Heat the olive oil over medium-low heat. Add the mushrooms and garlic and saute until soft. Add the tofu, spices and lemon juice. Mash using a potato masher or fork. Cook for 5-10 minutes more, stirring often.

Charlotte's Light Marinara
  • 1 28 oz. can tomato puree
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 Tbsp. sugar
  • black pepper to taste
  • 1/2 c. water
  • 1/4 c. olive oil
  • 1 tsp. lemon juice
  • 1/2 tsp. onion powder
  • 1/4 tsp. oregano
Combine ingredients in a medium sauce pan. Heat over medium low heat, covered, for 10-15 minutes.

Now, after all that, enjoy.


Vegan_Noodle said...

Your raviolis look amazing!! I've always wanted to try making my own pasta but have been weary cuz I figure it's lots of work. I think my hubby has one of those pasta machines though, so I should get to it!

veganforone said...

You are a GENIUS! This is gorgeous! I've always wanted to make my own ravioli, but have been far too afraid to. Bravo! I must try this, maybe I can make my family proud. =) I love using pasta machines, they're so much fun!

EmLit said...

Wow, this looks really good. In fact, when I sometimes get cravings for ravioli and end up with images of the "ideal ravioli" in my head, this is what it looks like! I'm not sure I'll be making my own pasta any time soon but maybe this is something we could do when I visit sometime <3

Susan said...

now that I don't have my pasta maker (sob sniff), I guess I won't be adventurous enough to make my pasta with a rolling pin - we'll have to see. But I have always wanted to make ravioli! Maybe there's a new pasta machine in my future!

Paulina said...

Making homemade pasta sounds so intimidating to me...I don't know why! But yours looks great :)

Happy Herbivore! said...

ChocolateCoveredVegan said...


I've never had vegan ravioli; they look amazingly delicious!

ashley said...

I'm so glad you found my blog- because now I get yours! I can't wait to play catch up. I'll be back!

(and this recipe looks SO GOOD!)