Saffron Ravioli with Wild Mushrooms, Cashew Cheese, Vegan Recipe from Candle 79 Cookbook

An interview with the Candle 79 team has been in the planning and should take place in next 10 days.

In the meantime, let me serve a second vegan helping from their book Candle 79 Cookbook: Modern Vegan Classics from New York’s Premier Sustainable Restaurant (Ten Speed Press, Fall 2011) by Joy Pierson, Angel Ramos, and Jorge Pineda.

Saffron Ravioli with Wild Mushrooms and Cashew Cheese

1 cup raw cashews
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1⁄4 cup chopped white onion
1⁄4 teaspoon chopped garlic
1⁄4 cup chopped shallots
1⁄4 cup chopped leek, white and pale green parts
1⁄2 pound cremini, morel, or chanterelle mushrooms, stemmed and chopped
1 tablespoon water
1 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
1⁄2 teaspoon sea salt

Saffron Pasta

1 teaspoon saffron
21⁄2 cups water
1 cup semolina flour
3 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
3 teaspoons Ener-G egg replacer
1⁄4 teaspoon sea salt
3 tablespoons palm oil, melted
Fine yellow cornmeal or semolina flour, for dusting
21⁄2 cups Roasted Plum Tomato Sauce (page 116), for serving
Cashew Crème Fraîche (page 125), for serving
Minced fresh parsley, for garnish
Crispy Capers (see page 40), for garnish
Serves 6 to 8; makes about 30 ravioli

To make the filling, the day before using, put the cashews in a bowl and add enough cold water to cover them. Cover and let soak overnight in the refrigerator.
In a large sauté pan, heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion, garlic, shallots, and leek and sauté until tender, about 5 minutes. Add the mushrooms and cook until their liquid has evaporated, about 10 minutes. Drain well and set aside to cool.
Drain the liquid from the cashews and rinse under cool water. Put the cashews, the remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil, and the water, lemon juice, nutritional yeast, and salt in a food processor fitted with the metal blade and process until smooth. Add the mushroom mixture and pulse a few times, until the mushrooms are incorporated.
To make the pasta, soak the saffron in the water for about 30 minutes. Put the flours, egg replacer, saffron-infused water, and salt in a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Add the palm oil and mix well. The dough should be smooth and not stick to your fingers.
Press the dough into a rectangle and roll it, a small section at a time, through a pasta machine. You may have to repeat several times to reach the desired thickness ofapproximately 1⁄8 inch. Sprinkle the surface with a small amount of cornmeal or semolina flour to prevent the dough from sticking. Cut the pasta sheets into 2-inch rounds or squares.
To assemble the ravioli, put the pasta pieces on a floured surface. Place a teaspoonful of filling in the center of each square, brush the edges of the dough with a bit of water, top with another piece of pasta, and press the edges with your fingers to seal, and then crimp with a fork. Spray the ravioli with canola oil cooking spray on one side, then flip them over and spray the other side. (If you don’t have cooking spray, brush both sides lightly with olive oil.)
Bring a large pot of water to a boil and cook the ravioli until just tender, about 2 minutes.
To serve, spoon the tomato sauce into shallow bowls. Top with alternating layers of ravioli and Cashew Crème Fraîche. Scatter a bit of the parsley over the sauce, top with a spoonful of the capers, and serve at once.

Wine pairing:

Chiusa Grande Montepulciano d’Abruzzo, Italy
A bright, casual red for hearty at-home suppers, this stainless steel-fermented Montepulciano from Abruzzo tastes of red berries and is scented with violet. Easy drinking with good acidity, this wine is a great regional match for Italian pasta dishes and pizzas.


Saffron_Ravioli_with_Wild_Mushrooms_and_Cashew_Cheese_image_p_68 (2)


Variation: Butternut Squash Filling

2 1⁄2 pounds butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and cut into 2-inch cubes
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1⁄2 teaspoon ground or freshly grated nutmeg
1 fresh sage leaf, finely chopped
Sea salt

Preheat the oven to 350˚F.
Place the butternut squash on a rimmed baking sheet, drizzle with the olive oil, and toss with your hands until evenly coated. Bake the squash for 45 minutes.
Let cool, then transfer to a large bowl. Add the nutmeg and sage and mash until smooth. Season with salt to taste.
Use as an alternative filling for ravioli, following the instructions above.

Roasted Plum Tomato Sauce

12 ripe plum tomatoes, seeded and halved, or 1 (28-ounce) can plum tomatoes, drained and juices reserved
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons Earth Balance Natural Buttery Spread
1⁄2 cup chopped onion
2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil leaves
1⁄2 cup water
Sea salt and freshly ground pepper
Makes about 21⁄2 cups

Preheat the oven to 350°F.
Put the tomatoes on a rimmed baking sheet, drizzle with the olive oil, and roast for 30 minutes. Let cool, then chop coarsely.
Heat the buttery spread in a large sauté pan over medium heat. Add the onion and sauté until softened, about 5 minutes. Stir in the tomatoes, basil, water, and salt and pepper to taste, and cook over low heat for 15 to 20 minutes. If using canned tomatoes, add the reserved juices to the sauce before cooking. The sauce should be fairly chunky, but if you prefer a thinner sauce, add a bit of vegetable stock, transfer to a blender, and process until smooth.
This sauce will keep, covered, in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.

Cashew Crème Fraîche
2 cups raw cashews
1⁄4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
3⁄4 cup water
1⁄2 teaspoon sea salt
Makes about 2 cups

Put the cashews in a bowl and add enough cold water to cover them. Cover and let soak overnight in the refrigerator.
Drain the cashews, rinse under cold water, and drain again.
Transfer to a blender. Add the lemon juice, olive oil, water, and salt and process until smooth. The mixture will keep, covered, in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.

Crispy Capers
1⁄2 cup capers, drained
1⁄3 cup grapeseed oil
To prepare the capers, let them dry on paper towels for 10 minutes. Heat the oil in a sauté pan over medium-high heat. Add the capers and decrease the heat to mediumlow.
Cook the capers, stirring often, until crispy, 5 to 8 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon and transfer to paper towels to drain.

(* Reprinted with permission from Candle 79 Cookbook: Modern Vegan Classics from New York’s Premier Sustainable Restaurant. Copyright © 2011 by Joy Pierson, Angel Ramos, and Jorge Pineda. Published by Ten Speed Press, an imprint of the Crown Publishing Group, Berkeley, CA. Photo credit: Rita Maas.)

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