Paola, George, and Julie Anne

If you had invited me for a vegan meal 6 months ago, I would have crinkled my nose and made a semi-polite excuse not to join you, but if you invited me for pasta… no problem. The fact it might be vegan pasta doesn’t matter. Pasta is pasta, and everyone loves pasta.

BTW, I mentioned last month that my appetite went AWOL after my heart surgery. Most of the food that did appeal to me, was vegan. Tal Ronnen would probably cringe (I saw him crinkle his nose when microwaves were mentioned), but luckily I made tons of his recipes in advance, so I could easily “heat to eat” while I recovered. They stand up beautifully to the personal chef approach.

In the past, meatless pasta was the one form of vegetarian food that was acceptable in my world, but I never would have dreamed you could make such a creamy, artichoke filling using key ingredients like pureed cashews in place of the cream, and nutritional yeast flakes to produce a parmesan cheese like flavor.

Tal making pasta with the Kitchenaide attachment I long for
I’ve never made pasta from scratch before (that pasta attachment I wanted for Christmas is still on my wish list), so I jumped at the opportunity to learn from The Conscious Cook himself, Tal Ronnen, at Le Cordon Bleu college of Culinary Arts last January.

Making vegan pasta just takes a little imagination… Tal used silken tofu in place of the egg, then adds red palm oil for color. He quickly brought the dough together in a food processor, kneaded it for five minutes in the KitchenAid fitted with a dough hook, and started feeding it through the pasta attachment repeatedly until he had a thin, smooth sheet of pasta that he set on the counter already dusted with semolina flour. Using a ring cutter, he quickly pressed out the discs for the tortelini. 

Jewels leaning how to make tortellini

Oops! Added a little too much filling under chef’s watchful eye

We started fliping each disk over (the air dries it out quickly so you have to move swiftly with each tortellini. Filling the side that was not previously exposed to the air gives you a more supple surface to work with) with the scrumptious, cooled artichoke filling.

Jewels in learning mode

I did it!

Next we pinched the edges closed with our index fingers, and twisted the ends around (into a form that looks like miniature sombreros), and pinched again to seal into shape. Just a few minutes in a pot of boiling water, and wella… delicious vegan tortellini ready for the sauce of your choice. In this case a saffron cream sauce.

The Conscious Cook

Fancy something meatier, but still want to stick with vegan? Make spaghetti, linguine, fettucine, or any shape you like coupled with Gardein or Match Meat alternatives to make hearty classics like spaghetti Bolognese or “Chicken” and broccoli in a creamy Alfredo sauce.

« Previous PostNext Post »
%d bloggers like this: