how to make vegan pasta

roasted pumpkin tortellini with sage butter

30th January 2018

Making tortellini does require a little patience and time, however, the final result is worth every fiddly moment and if you get everyone on board in the assembly line filling up the table, it speeds up the process and allows for a wonderfully intimate and fun afternoon together.

roasted pumpkin tortellini with sage butter

4 servings

The fulsome sage butter is soft and simple allowing the pumpkin tortellini to shine through. The addition of the fried sage leaves adds a nice crunch which contrasts with the silkiness of the tortellini.

The inspiration for this post found here.

ingredients

½ portion pasta dough

pumpkin filling

1 kg pumpkin

1 Tbsp melted ghee/butter

¼ tsp freshly grated nutmeg

½ tsp fine rock salt

¼ tsp freshly ground pepper

sage butter and toasted leaves

60g unsalted butter

40 sage leaves – divided

salt and pepper, to taste

4 Tbsp peanut oil

to serve

pine nut parmesan

few rounds of black pepper

a sprinkling of fine rock salt

preparation

1.  Preheat the oven to 180C/350F.

2. To make the filling, slice the unpeeled pumpkin in half, scoop out the seeds with a spoon, then slice each half into 5-6 wedges and place in a large bowl. Drizzle over the melted ghee or butter and toss with your hands until the wedges are sufficiently coated.

3.  Arrange on a lined baking tray and roast for 30 – 40 minutes until soft. Allow to cool and scoop the pulp away from its skin with a spoon and place in a medium bowl and with a hand blender, puree until smooth. Allow to drain through a cloth or fine sieve for 1 hour.

4.  Place the pumpkin back into the bowl and sprinkle over the nutmeg, salt and pepper, stir to combine.

5.  Prepare the dough, divide the pasta dough into thirds. Work with one piece at a time and keep the other pieces covered. Follow the detailed instructions here. Roll your dough as thin as possible – #6 on pasta roller.

6.  To shape the tortellini, cut the sheet of pasta into rounds using a 3-inches cutter or tin. Gather the scraps into a ball and put them with the remaining pieces of dough to roll later.

7.  To fill the tortellini, place 1 teaspoon of filling in the middle of each round. (Don’t be tempted to overfill, otherwise, they will break and you will have a hard time sealing them.) Dip your finger in a bowl of water and run it along the edges of the circle. Fold the rounds into a crescent shape, pressing the top together carefully and pressing out any air trapped inside and then working your way along the sides. Bend the bottom two corners round to meet each other and press well to seal. Set aside, spacing them apart slightly, on well-floured board, covered.

8.  Repeat with remaining pieces of dough, re-rolling the scraps. (It is important to work on a well-floured surface, to avoid the tortellini sticking as you repeat with remaining pieces of dough.) Cover with a cloth, or if you are making them a few hours in advance lightly dust them with semolina flour.

9.  When ready to cook, bring a large pan of lightly salted water to the boil. While waiting for the water to boil, make the sage butter.

sage butter

10.  Melt the butter in a saucepan. Add half the sage leaves and season with salt and pepper. Turn off the heat and set aside.

11.  Toast the remaining sage leaves, in a small skillet, heat the peanut oil over medium-high heat and fry 6 – 8 sage leaves at a time until crisp, 2–3 seconds. Transfer with a fork to paper towels.

12.  Once the water is boiling, gently drop the tortellini into the water and cook 1½ – 2 minutes – they will rise to the top. Gently lift out with a slotted spoon onto individual plates.

13.  To serve, drizzle with the sage butter, sprinkle over a few spoons of pine nut parmesan, a few rounds of pepper and decorate with the crispy sage leaves. The tortellini goes well with a plate of sauteed kale or nettles.

pasta dough (without eggs)

29th August 2017

homemade vegan pasta 4 - 1

Once you get the feel of the dough, making pasta without eggs is easy, it is a little softer, more delicate, however, the texture is divine. Homemade pasta is much lighter on the system and easier to digest.

The durum wheat flour helps absorb the flavours. It makes a softer, silky, smooth dough, that you will not get from other flours. It also absorbs more water then ordinary flour, so keep that in mind if swapping the flours around.

This is a recipe that has developed over trial and error, as time goes on I am sure it will evolve even more and I will update accordingly. So far, I found when rolling and thinning the dough I used a liberal amount of flour – this may have something to do with where we live, as there is a lot of moisture in the air in Sintra. I found using an icing sugar shaker very handy for this purpose, a sifter or sieve will work just as well to get a fine layer of dusting. The process is quite time-consuming, however, the more confident you become with the process the quicker it is. The results are so delicious and worth the effort and impossible to go back to a box of dried pasta.  Making your pasta from scratch is a very satisfying process.

homemade vegan pasta 3 - 1vegan pasta dough - 1 (11)vegan pasta sheets & noodles - 1

pasta dough without eggs

Preparation 1½ hours

Serves 6 

Recipe inspired by Kusama via Elegantly Vegan.

If attempting for the first time, halve the dough recipe.  It comfortably serves 3 – 4, or once shaped 120g per person.  The best way to get good at making fresh pasta is to make it again and again! 

ingredients

480g/4¼ cups finely ground semolina flour from durum wheat

2 tsp fine rock salt

4 Tbsp olive oil

1 –  1¼ cup/250 – 300ml warm water

extra flour for dusting

special equipment 

pasta making machine

preparing the pasta dough

1.  In a medium bowl, measure out the flour, add the salt and whisk to combine, then create a well in the centre, drizzle in the olive oil and slowly pour in the water, little by little.

2.  Using your hands, combine the dry into the wet, adding water a tablespoon at a time until the dough comes together into a ball.

3.  Dust your work surface with flour and knead the dough, begin gently folding the dough on itself, flattening, and folding again, for about 10 minutes, then cover tightly with plastic wrap and let rest at room temperature for ½ – 1 hour. For best results knead and allow the dough to rest for as long as possible.

rolling out the pasta dough

4.  Unwrap the dough and divide it into quarters, and then each quarter in half again so you have eight equal portions, weighing approximately 90 – 100 grams.

5.  Work with one portion at a time, and cover the rest. Flour your work surface and flatten one piece of dough. Feed it through the thickest setting on the machine – #0. Lightly dust both sides of the sheet of pasta with flour and fold this piece of dough into thirds, like folding a letter, dust again and feed the pasta crosswise between the rollers.

Repeat this step 5 – 6 times. This helps strengthen the gluten in the flour, giving it a chewier texture when cooked.

6.  Change settings to – #1, dust with flour and feed it through the machine without folding; then set it on #2 and so forth until achieving the desired thickness – I finished at #5 for fettucini/spaghetti and lasagna sheets, #6 for ravioli/tortellini.

vegan pasta noodles - 1 (3)

If your pasta sticks at all, dust both sides with more flour or is too lengthy to manage, lay on a cutting board and cut in half.  Don’t tug or pull on the pasta as it goes through the machine. Let the rollers do the work. 

7.  Cut the sheet of pasta crosswise into pieces about 25 cm long and lightly dust them with flour again.

To make the process easier, roll out all the dough at once before cutting it into the desired shape. Dust the sheets of pasta generously with flour and overlap them on a floured board. When ready to cut, use the sheets which were rolled out first and have been sitting longer to dry.

cutting the pasta 

8.  If making filled pasta or lasagna, proceed with shaping.  If cutting into noodles, switch from the pasta roller to the noodle cutter, dust again with flour and run the sheet of pasta through the cutter. As soon as the pasta comes through the cutter, dust generously with flour and gently fold into loose rounds to make a nest or lay flat. Dust again with a little flour and continue with the remaining dough. Leave the pasta to air dry for 15 minutes – 3 hours before using. This helps the pasta to not clump together while cooking.

vegan pasta - 1 (3)

9.  When ready to cook the pasta, bring a pot of well-salted water to a boil, then add the pasta to the water, wait for it to boil again and cook for about 1 – 2 minutes – don’t overcook!  The pasta should float to the top of the pot when it’s ready and be al dente. Drain and then just drizzle it in olive oil or toss it with your favourite pasta sauce, and it’s ready to serve.

To dry, allow to air dry until completely brittle, turning the nests from time to time. Depending on the humidity it should take 5 – 6 hours.

To freeze, gather the bundles in a single layer separated with baking paper and freeze, in an airtight container, up to 3 months. Do not thaw them – place them directly in boiling water – may take 2 – 3 minutes to cook.

serving suggestions 

walnut parsley pesto

Jonathan’s Sunday night pasta sauce

tortellini with roasted pumpkin & sage butter

pine nut sauce

vegan pasta - 1 (1)

Note to self

Lasagna – #5 (use 360g flour)

Ravioli/tortellini – #6 (240g flour)

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