The magical thing about making pasta, particularly from scratch, is how it can feel and taste so luxurious, and make you feel like a Michelin star chef, or at least an accomplished and prestigious home cook, but also be one of the easiest and most affordable dishes you can make. And while there is much mastery involved in pasta making and dish preparation, it is something that you can learn to do yourself while having your errors be, most likely, still edible. In other words, making pasta is a confidence booster – and we could all use boost of confidence once in a while, while navigating this harsh and judgemental world.
Typically, fresh pasta is made with egg, and in most cases the vegan solution to this has been to just exclude it and use water as the binding liquid. This works just fine, but the egg does enrich the pasta with fat, which improves the texture. While mulling over this recipe, I tried to think of what I could use in place of the egg that might have a similar effect. Out of curiosity I decided to try JUST Egg’s Plant Based Liquid Egg. The results are in and I can confirm that it works very, very well for pasta making. The dough had a lot more consistency and strength and the end result was noticeably silkier.
The other element of this recipe, the sage-brown butter sauce, is a bit of a vegan conundrum as well, or at least it was until recently. The modern vegan renaissance is giving us so many new and exciting plant-based butters that accurately mimic the flavour and qualities of butter, that the harmful and destructive process by which butter is manufactured, seems increasingly ridiculous and unnecessary. Miyoko’s Cultured Vegan Butter works particularly well for this recipe.
For the Ravioli:
1 x 398 ml can of pumpkin puree
2 tbsp of maple syrup
2 tsp of cinnamon
1 tsp of nutmeg
2 cups of flour
1/2 cup of JUST Egg Plant Based Liquid Egg
2 tsp of salt
For the Sage-Brown Butter Sauce
1/2 cup of vegan butter
20g of fresh sage, minced
1/2 cup of vegan creamer (I used this one by Califia Farms)
1/2 cup of vegetable broth
1 tsp of garlic
1. Prepare the pasta filling. In a medium mixing bowl, add the 398ml can of pumpkin puree, 2 tbsp of maple syrup, 2 tsp of cinnamon, 1 tsp of nutmeg. Mix until the mixture is smooth and consistent. Set aside.
2. Prepare the Sage-Brown Butter Sauce. In a sauce pan, over medium heat, add the 1/2 cup of vegan butter. Cook until the butter starts to foam and brown (about 10 minutes). Then add the 20g of minced sage, 1/2 cup of creamer, 1/2 cup of vegetable broth, and 1 tsp of garlic. Cook for another 10 minutes. Reduce to low heat while you prepare the pasta.
3. Add 2 cups of flour to a large mixing bowl. Add in the 2 tsp of salt. Form a well in the center of the flour with your fingers and pour in the 1/2 cup of liquid egg into it. Mix until the liquid is absorbed and the dough is solid and consistent. Use your hands to finalize forming the dough and add more liquid if you find that it’s too dry.
4. On a lightly floured surface, knead the dough for 10 minutes or until the dough is stretchy is elastic. Divide the dough into two.
5. Start rolling out one piece of the dough. On the floured surface, roll out the dough into a large enough rectangle to cover the base of the ravioli mould (I used this one from Williams Sonoma). Place the rolled-out dough over the mould and use finger to create a slight indent where the grooves are. Scoop about a spoonful of the pumpkin filling into the indents.
6. Roll out a second piece of dough to place over the top of the first piece of dough. Use your thumb to press the two pieces of dough together. Then flip the mould and trim the edges with a knife. The intention with the mould is that the dough should just tear apart – but you’ll probably have to cut it.
7. Bring a pot of salted water to a boil. Reduce to medium heat and using a slotted spoon, place the ravioli into the water. Cook for 10-12 minutes.
7. Serve with the sage brown butter sauce and top with vegan parmesan. Earth Island Grated Parmesan Cheese is my personal favourite.