Monday, June 28, 2010
I was just telling someone recently about how, when I was little, one of my favorite foods was Chef Boyardee canned ravioli. When I think about it, I can almost taste those mushy little raviolis in that high-fructose-laden tomato sauce. Which is why I'm trying to not think about it. Fortunately my palate (and my food ethics) have matured and that highly processed, scary-meat junk is a thing of the past.
Nowadays, I'm more likely to attempt to make my own homemade ravioli, as I did last night. I started with a batch of tofu ricotta, which I made from a recipe in The Ultimate Uncheese Cookbook. This ricotta recipe is slightly tangy (from fresh lemon juice), has plenty of basil and garlic, and is even better if you allow it to chill overnight so that the flavors meld.
After I made the tofu ricotta, I sauteed the wild mushrooms in olive oil with garlic and fresh herbs. Instead of making my own pasta, however, I used wonton wrappers and was happy with the results. Serve with your favorite tomato sauce - for mine, I just simmered some fire roasted whole tomatoes with garlic, olive oil, and chopped basil stems for about an hour until the tomatoes had completely broken down and developed a nice, concentrated flavor.
Tofu Ricotta (from The Ultimate Uncheese Cookbook)
1 lb. firm tofu, drained
3 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
2 tsp. agave nectar
1 tsp. dried basil
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. garlic powder
Break tofu into large chunks. Place in a saucepan and cover with water. Bring to boil, reduce heat, and simmer for 5 minutes. Drain well. Chill uncovered in the refrigerator until cool enough to handle. Crumble and place in a bowl with remaining ingredients. Mash and blend until mixture has the consistency of ricotta cheese. Chill several hours or overnight.
Wild Mushroom Filling
8 oz. wild mushroom mix (like shitakes, baby bellas, oyster)
3 cloves garlic, finely minced
1/4 cup fresh basil leaves, minced
1 Tbsp. olive oil
1 tsp. fresh rosemary, minced
1 tsp. arrowroot
salt and pepper to taste
Heat olive oil over medium-high heat. Add garlic and saute about 2 minutes (do not let garlic brown). Add mushrooms and saute 5 minutes, then add fresh herbs and saute another 5 minutes. Add arrowroot and mix well, cooking until there is no more mushroom liquid in your pan. Salt and pepper to taste.
For ravioli assembly:
40 wonton wrappers (check ingredient list to make sure there is no egg)
3" round biscuit/cookie cutter (if you are using square wonton wrappers)
Lay one wrapper flat on your work surface. Add about a teaspoon of the tofu ricotta mixture to the center of the skin.
Top with about a teaspoon of the mushroom filling.
Dip your fingers in water and use them to moisten the wonton wrapper all around the filling, to the edge. Lay another wrapper on top of the first, and press out as much air as possible around the filling.
Using the biscuit cutter, center it around the filling and press down firmly. Peel away and discard the edges of dough around the cutter. Or roll them out and use for something else. Of course this step is completely unnecessary if you just buy round wonton skins in the first place. Or if you prefer to eat square shaped ravioli. I'm just saying.
Bring a large pot of water to a boil, add ravioli, and boil for 5 minutes. Drain well and top with tomato sauce and fresh basil.