Vegan Ricotta Ravioli with Asparagus Walnut Pesto

This was a very special dinner we enjoyed. It is not really as difficult to make as it appears and is well worth the trouble.

Vegan Ricotta Ravioli with Asparagus Walnut Pesto

Yield: 20 large ravioli

Ingredients:

for the ravioli dough:

  • 1 cup semolina flour
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1/2 cup water
  • pinch salt

for the ricotta filling:

  • 1 cup soy yogurt
  • 1 cup tofu, crumbled
  • pinch salt
  • pinch nutmeg
  • splash lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon nutritional yeast (optional)
  • small handful of chopped fresh basil (optional)

for the asparagus walnut pesto:

  • 1 lb. fresh green asparagus
  • 1 cup walnuts
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 lime, zest and juice
  • 1/2 ripe avocado
  • dash cayenne pepper
  • salt and pepper to taste

Vegan Ricotta Ravioli with Asparagus Walnut Pesto

Directions:

to make the pasta dough:

  1. Using a food processor, put the flour and salt in.
  2. Add the olive oil and pulse the food processor until the mixture is small crumbs.
  3. Slowly add the water and pulse until it forms a ball of dough.
  4. Allow the dough to “rest” for 15 minutes or so before using.

to make the filling:

  1. Put the soy yogurt in a medium sized bowl.
  2. Add the crumbled tofu and spices.
  3. Mix with a fork, allowing a roughly lumpy mixture. If your mixture is too runny, you can add a bit more nutritional yeast, or a few dry bread crumbs.
  4. Season to taste.

to prepare the ravioli:

  1. Pull a small handful of dough from the ball of dough and roll out on a lightly floured surface.
  2. Lightly impress your ravioli form on the surface to indicate where to put the filling.
  3. Roll out a second piece of dough to form the top.
  4. Place a spoonful of filling in the center of each impression, then carefully lay the top sheet of dough on top.
  5. Gently press around the mounds with your finger, then using your ravioli form, cut out the entire ravioli.
  6. Lay on a lightly floured plate to dry, and wait or cooking. Continue making the ravioli until all the dough and filling has been used. I was able to make 20 large round ravioli from the recipe.

to make the pesto:

  1. Clean the asparagus, and cut the hard woody end off.
  2. Slice the asparagus in pieces and either steam or blanche al dente.
  3. Reserve about 1/2 of the nicest, prettiest pieces of asparagus with tips to used whole I the pesto.
  4. Place the rest of the asparagus pieces in a blender.
  5. Add the avocado, lime juice, zest and garlic, and pulse to a smooth consistency.
  6. Add the walnuts and once again pulse.
  7. Add the salt, pepper and cayenne pepper. Season to your preference of taste.
  8. When the pesto has been made, place it in a small saucepan.
  9. Add most of the asparagus pieces, reserving a few as garnish.
  10. Keep the pesto warm on a low heat.

to make the ravioli:

  1. Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to boil.
  2. Add 4 or 5 ravioli to the pot and cook until they float.
  3. Remove with a slotted spoon and place in a bowl.
  4. Cook the next batch of ravioli.
  5. Serve the ravioli with the asparagus pesto and a few pieces of asparagus as garnish.