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Pasta from an Urban Kitchen

One of my funniest culinary memories from childhood involves my mom, Cathey Long, our kitchen and A LOT of flour. An avid pasta maker, Cathey valiantly attempted to share her pasta making skills with my mom and well, let’s just say it was an unsuccessful mission. We probably ate hoagies and tastykakes that night for dinner.

My schedule – and quite frankly my counterspace – prohibited me from making homemade pasta this week so I tried the next best thing.  Recently, my mother-in-law made ravioli with wonton wrappers. I had never thought of doing this and was intrigued. In one of my vegetarian cookbooks, there is a recipe for a pumpkin seed pesto made from tofu, which sounded quite good to me.

wonton

The recipe is actually very simple. The food processor did most of the work and the filling was so good you could have eaten it on its own or with some angel hair pasta. The tricky part was keeping the ravioli together after I boiled them – I may have boiled them too long. Half of them fell apart after cooking so I decided to saute the rest in olive oil on the skillet. This batch was exceptionally good.

The side dish was some fresh kale that I picked up at yesterday’s farmer’s market in Rittenhouse Square. When cooking kale, I recommend cooking it very quickly – just a little olive oil. I then added some fresh lemon juice, shaved parmesan cheese, and a little salt. I’ll definitely make it again. Even Ryan liked it.  All in all this was a nice meal and it gave me an excuse to use tofu twice in two nights – something I rarely do.  For those of you who don’t like tofu, you could substitute ricotta here.

pesto

Pumpkin Seed Pesto Ravioli
 
By Cathe Olson

Using prepared wonton wrappers (available in the deli section of most markets) makes it easy to make ravioli. If you get your family to help wrap up the raviolis, it won’t take any time at all.

Ingredients:
 
1 cup pumpkin seeds, lightly toasted
1 cup packed parsley leaves
2 cloves garlic
2 teaspoon miso
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
8 ounces firm tofu
1/4 cup olive oil
1 (50-piece) package egg-free round or square wonton/dumpling wrappers

Directions:
 
Mince pumpkin seeds, parsley, and garlic together in foodprocessor with metal blade. Add miso, sea salt and tofu, and process until mixed. While processor is running, drizzle oil through the top.

Flour a tray or board for prepared ravioli, and flour a small work surface for their preparation. Place a cup of water next to your work station. Form ravioli as follows: Place a wrapper on floured work surface and put about 1 teaspoon of pesto filling in center. Dip finger in water and wet edges of wrapper. Fold wrapper over diagonally to form half-moon (round wraps) or triangle (square wraps). Press to seal. Place ravioli on floured tray or board. Continue with remaining wraps and filling. Ravioli can be frozen at this point (see freezing instructions).

When ready to serve, drop ravioli into a large pot of boiling water. Cook 2 to 4 minutes, or until they float to the top. Remove to serving platter with slotted spoon. If cooking all the ravioli at once, do it in several batches.

You can serve the ravioli with traditional marinara sauce; however, I prefer it tossed with just olive oil, salt, and pepper (and maybe a little nondairy Parmesan cheese) so I can taste the delicious flavor of the pesto.

Makes 8 servings

Freezing Instructions: Place uncooked ravioli on a tray or baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Place tray in freezer for several hours, or until ravioli are frozen. Transfer ravioli to freezer container or bag. Cook as directed above; however, increase cooking time by a couple of minutes. Do not thaw before cooking.

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