DC – Vegetable Cashew Ravioli

A couple of months ago I joined this online group: Daring Cooks.  Each month a member (or two) posts a challenge recipe that all participants have to accomplish.  The July 2010 Daring Cooks’ Challenge was hosted by Margie of More Please and Natashya of Living in the Kitchen with Puppies. They chose to challenge Daring Cooks to make their own nut butter from scratch, and use the nut butter in a recipe. Their sources include Better with Nut Butter by Cooking Light Magazine, Asian Noodles by Nina Simonds, and Food Network online.

Typically nut butters are made in a food processor.  I do not, however, have a food processor.  I don’t even have wall outlets in my house.  I had to improvise.  I went old school.  Mortar and pestle old school.  I smashed and crushed and squeezed every last bit of oil out of the cashews I purchased in Kampala over the weekend.  Quite a nice arm work out if I do say so myself.  Try it sometime.  Forearms of steel now.  Well…at least one forearm of steel…must work on switching arms more when making nut butter…

I’m not at all a fan of peanuts (except in Snickers – that I’m perfectly fine with)  so the typical peanut butter was out.  The Asian cashew salad challenge recipe inspired me to create some sort of Asian-themed cashew dish.  It’s been so hot here lately that the thought of a heavy nut sauce totally turned me off.  But I had to incorporate cashew butter into the dish in some way.  I played with the idea of creating cashew noodles – of mixing the cashew butter into the noodle dough itself.  This evolved, as things do, into a vegetable ravioli drizzled with soy sauce and sesame oil and sprinkled with coarsely chopped cashew.

Poor planning caused me to have far less filling than I needed and I didn’t want to waste the rest of the dough, so I re-mixed the remaining ravioli circles and cut them into slices for some “traditional” cashew noodles.  These I tossed with sesame oil, soy sauce, tomatoes, green pepper, carrots and chopped cashew.

Vegetable and Cashew Ravioli
Serves 2

For the Cashew noodles
2 cups flour
2 eggs
2 tablespoons cashew butter
1/2 teaspoon salt

Mix the flour and salt together in a bowl and make a well at the center.  Add the eggs and cashew butter and stir to combine.  Kneed the dough for 5 to 8 minutes, adding more flour if it becomes too sticky to handle.  The dough should be smooth and springy.

Roll the pasta out onto a well floured surface very thin.  For ravioli, use a cup or biscuit cutter to cut rounds out of the dough and set aside.  Cut all ravioli rounds at once.

For more a more traditional noodle shape, cut the rolled pasta into thin strips and dust with flour so they don’t stick together.  Boil the noodles in well salted water until they rise to the surface for at least one minute more.  Top with sesame oil, soy sauce, diced tomato, shredded carrot and diced green pepper, or the vegetables of your choice.

For the ravioli filling
1 large carrot
1 small green pepper
2 shallots
1/2 cup french beans
1 medium tomato
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon dried ginger
1/4 teaspoon cumin powder
2 Tablespoons olive oil

Peel the carrot and dice it into 1/4 inch squares.  Also dice the green pepper, tomato and french beans into small 1/4 inch squares.  Combine them together in a bowl with the garlic powder, black pepper, ginger, and cumin.  Saute them over medium heat in a pan with the 2 Tablespoons of olive oil until tender.

Place one ravioli circle on your work area and put approximately 1 tablespoon (depending on the size of your ravioli) in the center of the dough.  You can then either place a second circle on top of the first and seal the edges with the tines of a fork or you can fold the ravioli in half creating a half-moon shape and pinch the edges closed.  set these aside on a floured surface so they don’t stick.  Stuff all the ravioli and boil them in well salted water until they rise to the surface for at least one minute.  Top with soy sauce, sesame oil and chopped cashews.

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11 Comments

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  1. What lovely recipe and the thought of nut butter in the actual pasta is inspired wonderful creativity on this challenge. Superb work on these recipes especially without all the mod cons. Cheers from Audax in Sydney Australia.

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  2. Such amazing and creative work on the challenge. I love the photos (especially the one of all the chopped veggies!) and am so amazingly impressed with all of the effort that you put forth, too, making the cashew butter by hand. Really super work.

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    • Thanks guys!

      Shelley – it’s not so much effort as time! I’ve got so much time on my hands I find myself dicing and julienning and doing the most time-consuming things just because I have the time!

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  3. I love the idea of the cashew flavored pasta — very nice call on that one. And such a refreshing change from the usual nut butter sauces! Kudos for tackling this with your mortar and pestle! We made pesto with ours this summer — and it sure beats the stuff made in a food processor.

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  4. Cashew flavored pasta sounds fantastic, especially the ravioli 😀

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  5. So impressed with your dish, and that you used a mortar/pestle! I’ve made curry paste with a mortar/pestle before, but I did not want to attempt nut butter this way – great job!!!

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  6. These look AMAZING!!! I love the look of the fresh noodles – I bet they were delicious. Not only that, but you ended up with 2 dishes for your hard work! Good job!

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  7. This looks and sounds so amazing!! Cashew noodles? You are a superstar! I absolutely need to come over the next time you make this one!! Thank you for sharing!!!

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  8. Thanks all! I just finished off the leftovers last night and sauteed them up in butter until they were crispy (think potstickers) with a mustard/soy sauce dressing and oh my…should have done that in the first place!

    Best leftovers I’ve ever had!

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  9. Genius, simply genius. You’ve just taken this challenge to a whole new level. And using only a mortar & pestle? Very impressive.

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  10. Kudos on the Mortar and Pestle! If we didn’t have the Food Processor tucked away it’s unlikely we would have gone the manual route.

    We really would like a taste of your ravioli.

    Well done on the dishes and the muscle building!

    Stay JOLLY!
    D&S

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