I used to loved canned ravioli growing up. It was simply perfect for kicking the after-school hunger pangs and was easy to assemble. These days, however, prepared food isn’t on my personal menu, and with a knack for taking things to a new, often vegan level in my kitchen, I thought: why not ravioli? This recipe for ravioli is baked as to ensure the dough cooks through and sticks together (since we aren’t using eggs), and is completely vegan! Enjoy!
The glow is in the stuffing:
Spinach: is in season from March to June (just in time for this recipe). It is packed with iron, which promotes the healthy function of red blood cells, transporting oxygen throughout the body and supporting DNA synthesis. It is also an excellent source of vitamins K, A, and C as well as folic acid. Its vitamin K content makes spinach crucial in maintaining bone health. It is also a great source of manganese, magnesium, and vitamin B2.
Vegan (Baked) Whole-Wheat Ravioli
For the dough:
- 4 cups whole-wheat flour
- 1 1/2 cups warm water
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- Several dashes of salt
For the filling:
- 16 ounce frozen spinach, defrosted and drained (or 4 cups baby spinach, chopped)
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 1 medium tomato, chopped
- 2 cloves of garlic, chopped
- 1/4 teaspoon cumin
- 1/8 teaspoon sweet paprika
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
For the sauce:
- 1 cup water
- ½ cup organic veggie stock
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 small onion, chopped
- 1 small red bell pepper, chopped
- 1 small green bell pepper, chopped
- 1 green onion, chopped
- 1 garlic clove, chopped
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- 1 small tomato, chopped
- Dash of dried thyme
- Salt and pepper
- 1 tablespoon of vegan butter (Earth Balance)
- 2 tablespoons whole-wheat flour
For the dough, mix all the ingredients and knead with clean hands until it forms a uniform ball. Set aside for 30 minutes in the refrigerator. Meanwhile, prepare the filling.
For the filling, in a pan over medium heat, add olive oil, onion, salt, and pepper. Once translucent, add the spinach, garlic, cumin and paprika. Stir for a few minutes. Add the tomato and cook until it is broken down. Put aside.
Retrieve the dough from the refrigerator. Cut in half roll out one half at a time with the help of a rolling pin and whole-wheat flour dust. Roll out the dough until 1/8-inch thick. Press a 2-3/4” diameter cookie cutter into the dough to create the ravioli edges. Press until you have about 24 pieces, using the other half of the dough when you run out of the first half. Place about 1 teaspoon of the spinach and veggie mixture in the center of 12, or half, of the ravioli dough circles. Brush the edges with water and place each of the other 12 dough circles atop each of the stuffed ones. Press the edges close with your fingers or the flat edge of a fork.
Brush each with olive oil and place on a baking sheet and cook for about 15 minutes at 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
While the ravioli bakes, prepare the sauce!
For the sauce, add the olive oil to a medium heat pan. Add the onions, bell peppers, salt and pepper. Cook until the onions begin to turn translucent. Add the green onion and garlic. Saute for another minute. Add the tomato paste and tomato and cook for a few more minutes, stirring. Add the water, veggie stock and thyme.
Bring to a boil and then reduce the heat to a simmer. While it simmers, in a separate pan, melt the vegan butter and whisk in the whole-wheat flour until evenly combined. Whisk in about 1/2 cup of the sauce mixture and then transfer the flour and butter mixture to the sauce and stir while it continues to simmer. The mixture will thicken significantly. Once it reaches desired consistency, remove the sauce from the heat.
Remove the baked ravioli from the oven and set 3-4 pieces on each plate, topping them with the sauce (a lot of it). The dough will absorb the moisture from the sauce and will be infused with the fragrant flavors of the sauce on one side and the stuffing on the other.