Homemade Ravioli with Mushrooms and Vegan Feta



I've always been a carb loving gal. For most of my life bread and butter has been a food group all on it's own! I think a lot of this stems from the fact that while I was growing up my mother would make the most amazing homemade bread. I was homeschooled back in those days, so I have distinct memories of curling up under our big pecan tree with a big slice of bread with butter while my mom and I did reading assignments from Beatrix Potter's works. I loved being homeschooled, and I feel like it gave me the advantage in a lot of areas. For one my reading curriculum was incredibly vast and diverse. My mother loved the study and appreciation of different cultures and she shared that with me by exposing me to literature from around the world. This early education is what ultimately inspired me to pursue degrees in Anthropology and Classics. But I digress. Lets talk carbs.




For every kid's birthday in my giant family we would generally go out to eat, and every year for my birthday I would always choose Olive Garden. And every year I would get the same thing: minestrone and cheese ravioli. At the time I thought the best food in the world could all be found at Olive Garden, but I've since learned that is so very very far from the truth. I had kind of just given up hope of ever having ravioli again. I figured the process would be far too difficult and I hadn't been able to find any ready made vegan options at the grocery store. Then I ran across a ravioli recipe in Thug Kitchen. It seemed a little labor intensive but for the most part is was crazy simple. I made a batch of the original recipe and my husband was jumping for joy! I liked the tofu ricotta recipe in Thug Kitchen, but I wanted to experiment some more with different stuffings. My thoughts immediately jumped to my tofu feta which I used in my Pasta Salad recipe (trust me the tofu ricotta and feta taste totally different). Then I thought I'd be sneaky and add in some mushrooms. My husband is a very vocal mushroom hater, but I served these to him twice and watched him gobble them down hungrily with excitement before I admitted to adding mushrooms to them. Surprisingly he didn't even care and he continues to eat them!

Now while you may be a little intimidated by this labor of love recipe, don't fear! While making the ravioli is a bit of work this recipe generates a literal ton of pasta. I made my dinner of about 4 ravioli and then I froze the rest. Once they are frozen they become such quick and easy go-to meal because it only takes them about 2 minutes to fully cook. I'd definitely recommend making these on a Sunday or whatever day you prefer to do your batch cooking on, then freeze the bulk of them and eat them for dinner throughout the week! Or totally bring to lunch and show off your home crafted ravioli to your coworkers. I bet they'll be drooling with envy!


Dough recipe adapted from Thug Kitchen Ravioli 
Yields about 35 ravioli
Ingredients
Dough
5 cups all purpose flour
2 tsp salt
1 cup water
6 tbsp olive oil
Filling
1 batch of vegan feta
2 cups of finely chopped mushrooms
1 tsp olive oil

Instructions
1. In a standing mixer combine flour and salt. Create a small well in the flour and pour in the water and olive oil. Mix on medium speed until a dough has formed. Allow the dough to rest for at least 30 minutes to 2 hours. 
2. When your dough is at the end of its resting period sauté your mushrooms in the olive oil over medium heat for roughly 5 minutes or until throughly cooked. Stir the mushrooms into the tofu feta until incorporated and set aside.
3. Once the dough has rested, place it on a well floured surface and kneed it for about a minute. Roll out the dough in a rectangle until it is about 1/4 inch thick. Use a round cookie cutter, ravioli stamp or the rim of a mason jar to make light indentations of a circle in one of the long sides of the dough. Each indentation should be roughly 1/2 inch apart.
4. Place a small spoonful of filling into the center of each indentation then pull the opposite side of the dough over the indentations so that the dough is halved lengthwise and the indentations with filling are completely covered. Using the circle cutter of your choice cut down through both layers of dough until the ravioli comes out freely from the surround dough. If you are using the rim of a jar or cookie cutter I recommend pressing down on the sides of the ravioli with the end of a fork to seal the edges together. Once you have cut out all of the indentations and made the raviolis gather up the scraps, kneed them together, roll it out and repeat the process until you run out of dough. 
5. Once the ravioli is formed you can choose to either freeze them as is or cook them immediately. To cook bring a pot of water to boil then place a few of the raviolis in it. Remove the raviolis once they have floated up to the surface of the water. Serve with your favorite veggies, vegan parmesan or pasta sauce. 



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