Well, hello. It’s been a while once again, whoops. We have fresh spinach ravioli on the table today!
If you think about spinach ravioli, you’re probably picturing egg-based pasta with a spinach-ricotta filling. Think again, because today we’re adding spinach to the pasta dough. We’re also swapping the ricotta filling for a very special one, made with toasted almonds, lemon zest and tofu.
The filling alone is worth the effort, if I can say so myself. It smells heavenly, with a lovely toasted aroma from the nuts, and then a fresh accent from the lemon zest.
This dish is perfect for a slow winter Sunday lunch, when it’s gloomy outside and you need something to cheer you up. And if the gorgeous green color of these spinach ravioli doesn’t make you smile, I don’t know what does!
In case you’re wondering where I’ve been, here’s what. I both tried to shoot on a daily basis, which can be tricky with a desk job and a high maintenance pup, and also found myself extremely interested about pasta making.
One of the first recipes on this blog (almost one year ago!) was for a nettle pasta with almond pesto. I didn’t make the noodles myself back then, but now I would and I’ll try to get my (gloved) hands on a bunch of nettle when they’re back in season.
There’s something almost therapeutic to the gestures you perform when kneading, rolling, cutting pasta dough. It’s so simple, yet surprising and always new. You can shape the dough either by hand or with the machine, fill it with anything you fancy, and dress the result in a million different ways. All of this, starting with just flour and water. Isn’t it amazing?
Apparently a lot of people are afraid of making fresh pasta at home. And I was concerned about that too, especially about filled pasta like these vegan spinach ravioli. But there’s no need to worry! Once you get a few crucial points, nothing will hold you back from your pasta dreams anymore.
First, you don’t need fancy equipment to make fresh pasta or ravioli at home. A nice, big working surface (your dining table or kitchen counter!) and a rolling pin will do the job if you don’t have a pasta machine, and a cookie cutter or mason jar lid are perfect to cut out the ravioli. Square raviolis won’t even need the extra effort: you just have to cut two sheets of dough, place nuggets of filling on the first one, and cover with the second sheet. Seal, cut with a knife and boil. Dinner is ready!
With filled pasta you’ll need a smooth, elastic dough that can wrap the filling without tearing – and yes, you can make it vegan. You can fill a single dough cut-out by folding the edges over themselves, or overlap two pieces of dough on top of one another. It all depends on what shape you’re planning to do. For convenience, here I used a round cookie cutter to make circles, then filled them and folded each one to make half-moon shaped spinach ravioli.
Bright colored pasta dough is easy to obtain – it’s just a matter of adding well squeezed vegetable purée to the dough, adjusting the overall water content accordingly. Here I used boiled and pureed spinach, but you can use beets or carrots as well.
The filling must be compact and quite dry, not runny or excessively moist. Beware, this is extremely important as you want to prevent the dough from turning mushy and lose its chewiness and texture. If you want to include vegetables that have a high water content, please make sure to drain excess liquid either by cooking them or squeezing it out before mixing the filling.
Lightly brush the edges of each ravioli with water before sealing the filling inside, to make sure nothing escapes while cooking. Nobody wants to ruin some beautifully crafted pasta parcels right? You’ll also want to press firmly all over the edges of each piece to make the sides stick together. Using a fork will leave you with a nice, decorative pattern too!
Oh, and stuff the pasta with less filling than you think you’d need. Just trust me on this. Again, you don’t want to serve shapeless sad things instead of vegan ravioli.
Lastly, do not dump uncooked ravioli straight in boiling water. Instead, bring a pot of salted water to a boil, then lower to a steady simmer and carefully ladle the pasta into the water with a slotted spoon, and let it catch the boil once more.
Are you ready to dive deep into pasta making?
Can’t wait to see your heavenly pasta bowls on instagram! I’m also on pinterest, bloglovin’, food52, and YouTube. See you there!
Making fresh pasta at home is easy! These vegan spinach ravioli have lots of flavor thanks to the zingy and toasty filling, the perfect reward for the work!
- 90 g wholemeal flour
- 45 g bread flour
- 60 g durum wheat flour
- 120 g spinach, cooked and squeezed
- 75 ml lukewarm water
- 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- a pinch of salt
- 1/2 block firm tofu, excess liquid squeezed out
- 30 g almonds
- 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1/2 lemon, zested
- salt + pepper, to taste
- 50 g cashews, soaked overnight and drained
- 100 ml unsweetened almond milk
- 2 tbsp nutritional yeast
- 1/2 tsp garlic powder
- salt and pepper, to taste
Crush the almonds coarsely and dry toast them in a skillet, stirring frequently until fragrant, about 3′. Remove from the skillet and set aside.
Pat dry the tofu, and make sure that there’s as little liquid left as possible.
Heat extra virgin olive oil in the same skillet and crumble the tofu in. Sautee until golden, then add in toasted almonds, lemon zest, salt and pepper to taste. The filling will seem dry and crumbly, but it’s fine. Set aside to cool.
Make sure excess moisture is squeezed out from the spinach. Add them to a food processor or immersion blender jar with 50ml water, extra virgin olive oil and a pinch of salt. Puree until smooth and lump-free.
To a big mixing bowl add flour and make a well in the middle.
Pour in the spinach mixture and start incorporating the flour mix with a fork. Once it starts to come together, dump the dough onto a clean working surface and knead, adding leftover water if needed. Dough must be firm but not dry. Knead until you get a smooth ball of dough, then wrap in cling film and set aside on the counter for 30′.
Blend soaked cashews with almond milk, nutritional yeast, garlic powder, salt and pepper until smooth. Set aside.
Roll prepared spinach ravioli dough out to a thin sheet, about 2mm thick. I did this on a well floured working surface and using a floured rolling pin, but you can use a pasta machine if you have one. If you’re working in a small space, I’d suggest you to split the dough into thirds before starting.
Cut round shapes using a medium cookie cutter or a mason jar lid and place hazelnut-sized balls of filling in the center of each ravioli. Moisten the edges of the pasta with water and fold the upper part of each round on top of the lower, so that the filling is trapped in the middle and you have half-moon shaped ravioli. Seal the ravioli by pressing the edges firmly with your fingers. Use a fork to stamp a pattern on the edges.
Dust finished ravioli with flour and set aside while you proceed forming the ravioli and run out of dough and filling.
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Lower to a simmer and gently toss the ravioli in water. Cook for 4-6′.
Remove cooked ravioli from cooking water with a slotted spoon, and toss them in a large skillet with the sauce to heat thoroughly.
Divide into four pasta bowls, garnish with freshly grated lemon zest and serve immediately.
If you forgot to soak cashews beforehand, boil them for 15′, run under cold water and continue as stated in the recipe.
Uncooked ravioli freeze very well. Dust them liberally with flour, place on a tray or freezer safe container without overlapping the pieces, cover and place in the freezer until fully frozen. Once frozen transfer to a ziploc bag and store in the freezer for maximum one month.