Updated: Dec 26, 2020
Chard, Roasted Tomato and Garlic Ravioli
Forget the eggs and über-refined "doppio zero" flour for the most delicious, divinely smooth, tender fresh pasta. These homey ravioli are made with whole durum wheat flour, a little besan (chana dal flour), and silken tofu instead. Stuffed here with chard, roasted garlic and cherry tomatoes, my soy yogurt “crème fraîche", and love.
Making ravioli is most fun if you do it with at least one friend: One to crank the pasta machine, the other to catch the dough. One to spoon on the filling, the other to cover it with a sheet of dough. One to press out any air bubbles, the other to crimp and cut out the ravioli. Put on some music and make it a party!
So many pastas await...so little time!
Prep time 90 minutes Cook time 5 minutes Serves 3-5
A manual or electric pasta rolling machine
A pastry crimper to seal and cut ravioli
A food processor
A digital scale
Stainless bench scraper
An extra large cutting board or working surface on which to lay out the long strips of dough for stuffing
A 12” by 12” square of unbleached muslin (a.k.a. butter muslin)
A mezzaluna or chef’s knife
A very large cutting board or stone surface to laying out the rolled dough sheets
220 grams atta (whole durum wheat flour, available online or in Indian groceries)
50 grams besan (chana dal flour, available online or in Indian groceries)
¼ teaspoon ground turmeric
220 grams silken tofu, well drained
½ cup soy crème fraiche from 1 cup soy yogurt
1 large bunch Swiss chard leaves
1 head garlic, roasted (we will use 4 cloves here)
2 cups cherry tomatoes, sliced in half, roasted
Nutritional yeast to taste
Grinds of black pepper
2 teaspoons of shiro (white) miso paste* or powder, or to taste
Shiro miso to flavor cooking water to taste (optional)
*Miso is a good salt alternative that helps to lower heart rate and does not raise blood pressure (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5313421/#:~:text=Miso%2C%20which%20is%20made%20from,%2C%20including%20salt%2Dsensitive%20hypertension).
Make the Pasta Dough
Combine the flours and turmeric in a food processor. Blend. Drain the silken tofu well and add. Run for 1-2 minutes or until a ball of dough gathers in the food processor bowl.
Knead the dough on a board for 10 minutes, using a bench scraper to scrape up any dough that adheres to the board as you go. If the dough is too sticky to knead easily, add a teaspoon or so of flour but go slowly. If it is too dry or stiff to easily knead, add 1-2 teaspoons of water. When you are done kneading, the dough should be very smooth and as soft as an earlobe. Shape into a ball, cover well with plastic wrap and rest the dough for 30 minutes.
Make the Soy Crème Fraîche
Line a bowl with your square of muslin. Spoon in the yogurt. Tie it up with some string and hang the bag over the sink or over the now empty bowl. Allow it to “strain” for about 2-3 hours. The longer it drips, the denser your crème fraiche will become. For this dish, we want the crème fraiche to be fairly dense to bind the ravioli filling without releasing too much moisture.
Prepare the Filling
Remove the loose outer papery skins of the garlic head and roast it intact along with the halved tomatoes for 30 minutes in a 400°F/204°C oven. Cool and peel four large cloves. (Reserve the remaining garlic for other dishes, like bean purées and hummus.)
Steam the chard leaves a few minutes or until tender. (Reserve the stems for other dishes, like chard stems in béchamel.) Cool and squeeze them to remove as much liquid as you can.
Place the ball of squeezed chard, roasted tomatoes and roasted garlic cloves on a cutting board. Use your mezzaluna or chef’s knife to chop them finely and uniformly.
Transfer to a bowl and mix in the nutritional yeast, pepper, shiro miso. Taste and correct seasonings as you like.
Make the Ravioli
Using the bench scraper, divide the dough in six even pieces (you can use the scale for accuracy). Take one piece and keep the others well wrapped in plastic to prevent drying.
Flatten the dough with your hands slightly, sprinkle with atta flour only if it is sticky. Mill it on the widest (lowest) setting. Fold in half widthwise and repeat numerous times until it becomes uniform and smooth. Laminating the dough by repeated folding and rolling it increases its suppleness and refines its texture. This can take from 5-10 passes through the rollers.
Put through the rollers now through the finer settings: Pass the dough once through on setting #2, then #3 and for ravioli, continue through setting #5. With each progressive setting, the dough will flatten and lengthen considerably. If it becomes unmanageably long, cut it in half and work each piece at a time, keeping the other covered with plastic wrap to prevent drying.
Dust your cutting board with atta flour and transfer the first piece of dough. Distribute your filling in small teaspoonfuls, spaced about 3/4” apart. Now mill the second sheet and when it is ready, place it carefully over the first sheet.
Press down gently to seal the dough around the filling, gently expelling the air out the sides. If you work slowly you can avoid creases or wrinkles. The dough is so fine and moist, simple pressure from your fingers will suffice to seal your ravioli.
Dip your pastry crimper in your atta flour before cutting between the mounds and long the sides to form and seal each raviolo. Two-inch squares are the typical size for ravioli.
Repeat until all your dough is milled and ravioli filled.
Cook the Ravioli
Heat a large pot of water to a low, gentle boil. Add just enough shiro miso to taste slightly saline if you like. Add the ravioli. As they cook they will rise to the top.
Fresh pasta ravioli cook very quickly so test one after 3-4 minutes for doneness. Do not overcook. Drain immediately and serve with your favorite sauce. Buon appetito!