Wednesday, March 11, 2015

National Nutrition Month: Mushroom Filling for Ravioli/Tortellini



This month is National Nutrition Month® which was started by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics as an annual campaign to educate and inform everyone about nutrition.  This year the theme of National Nutrition Month ® is “Bite into a Healthy Lifestyle”.  


In my opinion (and I know there’s a lot of talk about this as well) one of the healthiest things you can do is eat more veggies.  Check out meatlessmonday.com to read about the benefits that eating veg once a week can provide!

But, going meatless doesn't mean you have to sacrifice taste or go hungry! 

If you follow my blog you’d know that I received a 3-piece pasta attachment for my Kitchen-Aid for Christmas and it has been an adventure to knock out different types of noodles, pasta and even dumplings with it! Well this recipe has been a long time coming and finally I have the chance to not only sit down and relax, but to also to have enough peace to be able to string words together to create sentences. 

My most recent creation with my pasta attachment: Tortellini and Ravioli! 

I based the filling for these off of my "Grown-up Mac No Cheese" recipe. Mushrooms and some cashew cream make for a meaty and creamy filling that is sure to satisfy everyone on your Meatless Monday. There are so many ways to top the tortellini or ravioli... I'll give you a couple ideas at the end of the recipe, which starts now!!

1 recipe of pasta dough

2 1/2 cups mushrooms finely chopped (Equal to about 8 oz of whole mushrooms)
1 cup finely chopped onion 
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1/2 cup raw cashews
1/2 cup water
Salt and Pepper

Make pasta dough and let it rest.

In the meantime, sauté the mushrooms, onion, and garlic in the olive oil until the most of the water has evaporated.

In a blender, purée the raw cashews and water until smooth.  Be careful not to blend for too long or the mixture will be too thick!

Pour cashew cream into mushroom mixture and cook on medium-high heat, stirring constantly, until the cashew cream thickens enough to just start to hold the mixture together. (about 5 minutes) 

Transfer into a bowl and let it cool while you prep the pasta.

Roll out pasta dough in sheets (I rolled mine out to a 5 on my pasta sheeter). 

For Tortellini: Take a sheet of pasta dough rolled out to the 5 setting and cut into 2"x2" squares.  Put a teaspoon of mushroom filling in the center of the square. Fold corner D to corner A (see diagram at the left). Make sure when sealing, you seal pasta as close to filling as possible so there is no air inside the pasta! Use a little bit of water if the pasta isn't sticking enough.
        
              
To fold the into the tortellini shape, wrap corners B and C around your finger.  Fold A down to the center of the filling on the opposite side from where you've wrapped B&C together.  







Cook in boiling water for about 4 minutes or until they float to the top. 


For Ravioli: (without pan)  After you have rolled the pasta out into sheets, cut the sheet into an even amount of squares. Using a teaspoon fill the center of half with the filling. Brush around the filling with a little water and place the remaining squares on top. Press down around the seal to push out any air bubbles.
(with pan) Flour pan heavily lay one sheet of pasta on pan. Press into indentations slightly and place a teaspoon into the indentations and lay another sheet of pasta on top. Use a rolling pin to seal the ravioli and turn out of the pan.

Cook in boiling water for about 5 minutes or until they float to the top.


**Tortellini and Ravioli can also be frozen! Before cooking, place on a sheet pan and freeze. Store in a freezer container for up to three months. Cook until the float to the top.






For toppings, a simple red sauce is always nice. Or try something different, like tossing in garlic infused olive oil with halved cherry tomatoes and some chopped basil. Or maybe some olive oil and Earth Balance with garlic, shallots, peas, and sherry. 



Try it, let me know how eating meatless goes for you!

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