Pasta! Homemade vegan raviolis in an amateur kitchen.

Long title. Bit unwieldy. That’s okay.

When I first decided to stay at home we started saving grocery money because, in my abundant free time, I started making more and more things by hand. A bag of rice and a tin of peas goes a long way when you’ve got the right spices, longer than I think most people realize.

Now that I’m vegan, it’s gotten even closer to scratch cooking, because vegan prepared foods are so, so expensive and dried chickpeas are so, so cheap. I’m making more and more things by hand and realizing how easy it really is to do that. Which is why today I am bringing you: Vegan Spinach Ravioli!

Is this a cooking blog? I don’t even know really.

I am using this recipe for the vegan pasta. Most pasta you buy at the store is vegan, but I had to make this one from scratch if I wanted to have a say in the filling. It’s a recipe that doesn’t require any fussy ratios or semolina flour, which I appreciate because I seriously cannot be bothered with that. Here we go!

IMG_20140621_172106

Be sure to pour yourself a glass of wine. This is integral to the pasta making process. Really any dough. You need a good buzz going so the dough can’t hurt your feelings when it refuses to cooperate.

It also helps to have Animal Hoarders on, although you can substitute your trashy tv show of choice.

K, first make the dough the way the site I linked to makes the dough. You’ll know it’s ready when kneading it gets a lot more pleasant. They say smooth, and they mean it. By the end there it was not sticky, not dry, kind of springy it was like a softer stress ball. It gave positive feedback. The dough loves you, it wants to reassure you, everything will be okay says the pretty ball of dough.

Cover the dough in the blanket. It deserves that compassion after being so good to you. Leave it for ten minutes so it can achieve oneness with the universe.

Push it flat with your hands and cut it into five pieces. They don’t have to be equal, because you’re adaptable. You got this. Get those suckers rolled into balls, and in a row.

Now comes the part where you will become keenly aware that you don’t own a rolling pin. Improvise. I used a water glass, but you can use a blender or a hairspray can or a toddler’s arm. Any cylinder in your house, get creative.

This is a good time to make your husband a drink and suggest he go play that video game he just bought because, surprise, he’s home on time and you’re not ready. It will work. It always works.

I don’t know how I was supposed to do this, but I microwaved spinach with some margarine, stirred it to distribute it all, then put a pinch of spinach in each place I wanted a ravioli to be. Like, a rough grid. Then I laid on of the dough pieces on top of that, and I cut out the grid, and I pulled it apart and pinched the edges.

spinach2

Pursuant to the directions, which I suddenly decided to read again, I laid them out in a single layer on plates to dry. Flipped them over after a bit. They didn’t really dry though because they were full of hot, wet spinach.

After, like, a normal amount of time I got a pot of water on to boil and threw the mostly dry raviolis in. They weren’t as dry as finished pasta should be, but David was already home, and I needed to get a move on.

My trick is to get the water to a boil, throw the pasta in, let it get to a boil again, and then turn the heat on medium low. Let it stay on medium low for like fifteen minutes. It will keep boiling and the pasta will double or triple in size. If you’re looking to cut calories this is a fun trick because you feel obscenely full on a 1/2 cup of pasta. They just get so big!

spinach

Incidentally, I made an entire package of spinach for this and used barely any of it. While everything was cooking I ate the rest. I highly recommend this step.

David wanted avocado, I wanted marinara. Both options are vegan. It came out delicious and was so easy. If I can make pasta, literally anyone can make pasta. The one advice I would give is let the pasta adequately dry. The recipe said 10-15 minutes drying, I allowed maybe 20 minutes because of the filling, neither was enough. It came out chewy. Make these the day before if you can so they can sit in the open air for as long as they need to to gain the consistency of normal dry pasta. They refrigerate no problem, and boil up quick.