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Tortellini with Cashew-Tofu Ricotta and Arugula Pesto

August 21, 2011

Apologies. While the summer hasn’t been light on cooking, I’ve neglected this here blog. But I’m making it up to you with this recipe. It’s a bit more complicated than usual, but it’s well-worth the effort. If you make it all the way to the end of the post you’ll also be rewarded with the first ever (and hopefully soon to be recurring feature) Krule in the Kitchen blooper reel. But now on to the recipe.

As is often the case, this recipe is inspired by the vegan-chef hero Tal Ronnen and his essential cookbook The Conscious Cook. My family has rediscovered pesto (as you can tell, I’m a huge fan) so I decided to have some fun with it. I’ve never made my own pasta and don’t own a pasta maker so this recipe works for newbies like me and doesn’t require a pasta maker, though I imagine it would help out tremendously.

The only other thing I’ll say about this recipe is that the below photo doesn’t do it justice. Try it out and see for yourself.

Tortellini with Cashew-Tofu Ricotta and Arugula Pesto

For the dough:
4 oz silken tofu
1 tbs olive oil
1/2 tsp sea salt
2 tbs cold water
2+ cups semolina flour (you want some extra for dusting)

For the pesto:
1/4 cup pine nuts
3 cloves garlic
2 cups arugula
1/4 cup basil
2 tbs nutritional yeast flakes
1/2 cup olive oil
Pinch of ground cayenne
Sea salt and black pepper to taste

For the cashew-tofu ricotta:
8 oz firm tofu
1 1/2 tsp nutritional yeast flakes
Juice of 1 lemon
1/4 cup cashew cream [1/4 cup cashews blended with 2 or 3 tbs water as seen in this recipe as well as a few others]
1 1/2 tsp white miso paste
Sea salt and black pepper to taste

First make the dough by combining the silken tofu, olive oil, cold water, and salt in the food processor and blending for about a minute. Gradually add the flour. Add more water (1 tsp at a time) if necessary. Transfer the dough to a lightly floured surface and knead for 5-10 minutes or until smooth.

Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

In the meantime, rinse out the food processor (you’ll be using it a few more times!) and combine all the pesto ingredients. Blend. (If you want to be a bit fancy, you can add the olive oil as you blend, but there’s really no need.)

Separate the pesto into two different containers. You can rinse out the blender if you’d like, but there’s no need to do so, as you’ll be mixing the cashew-tofu ricotta with half of the pesto. It’s the same deal. Mix all the ricotta ingredients in the food processor and blend away.

Now mix in half of the pesto you set aside.

Set up a large pot of salt water to boil so it’s ready for the tortellini.

Now comes the fun part. Remove the dough from the refrigerator and roll out on a lightly floured surface. It will be easier to do this in batches of three or four.

The goal is to get the dough as thin as possible while still being able to work with it. Then slice the dough into equal sized rectangles. We went a bit larger here (it was our first time) but you may want your ravioli to be smaller, so use your judgment.

I have photos, but we’re going to try something new. Laura and Jack will be walking you through the next few steps with our first ever video:

Once you have a tortellini (or ravioli if you’re Laura) you can place it in the boiling water for 2-3 minutes or until it begins to float.

Drain and mix with pesto. Enjoy immediately or let cool and store for another time.

And because you made it this far… the first ever Krule in the Kitchen blooper reel:

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