Several years ago one of my most energetic graduate students showed a strong interest in food and cooking, so we often talked about it and shared stories and ideas — along with occasionally discussing the program: engineering management. When he honed in on pasta and homemade ravioli, we shared YouTube videos and techniques, including Laura Schenone’s work.
Fast forward a few years. Mike designed a much-improved ravioli rolling pin, made some prototypes, ran a successful Kickstarter campaign and then founded a company to make and sell these. I received an early version as a supporter and then bought the final version at Williams-Sonoma recently.
Now that I’ve found a vegan ricotta cheese from almond milk (Kite Hill, at Whole Foods Markets), I’m finally able to make great ravioli again. With Barbara as lead chef, here’s tonight’s version of a meal made with Cavolo Nero and Almond Milk Ricotta in a Roasted Red Pepper Sauce with Roasted Portobello Mushrooms.
- strip greens away from stems of our CSA-grown Lacinato Kale (Cavolo Nero)
- boil greens in salted water until just tender
- drain, dry, and finely chop greens in food processor
- add a full container of Kite Hill Ricotta to processor bowl
- add several glugs of olive oil, salt and pepper, then purée very smooth
- oven roast and peel 3 organic red peppers
- while oven is on, roast a large Portobello mushroom cap, drizzled with olive oil, salt and pepper; cool, slice and set aside.
- sauté shallots, 1/2 a small red onion, and olive oil until tender; add roasted red peppers, chopped; add a little white wine and cook it down; then purée in processor and set aside
- make pasta dough with 2 cups of flour and two eggs (or not, if strictly vegan) plus just enough water to form the dough; cover and let sit at least an hour or up to two days to make at a later date.
- roll out the dough very thin in two equal size pieces; one will be the bottom with the filling; the other will be the top, to be married together by the rolling pin
- spread the filling on the bottom half, cover with the top sheet, roll them together to seal, and cut between the resulting pillows with a ravioli cutter to separate
- boil in salter water until done
- heat pepper sauce, adding a little pasta water, then drain ravioli and mix in the sauce
- place ravili in serving dish, garnish with Portobello slices, and enjoy
- P.S. It’s much clearer with photos, below.