Thursday, October 26, 2006

Spinach Tofu Ravioli

I know, these look a lot like the Green Dumplings! They are actually spinach tofu ravioli with a chili tomato sauce. We love ravioli and wanted to make a healthier version of what is served in restaurants or purchased at the grocery store. Taking a tip from my mom who makes fresh lasagna and substitutes the ricotta with tofu, we found this recipe. The amazing thing about my mom's recipe is that it just as tasty as if she had used ricotta minus all the fat and cholesterol.

The one thing we didn't really realize when we selected this recipe is that it has a Japanese bent, which is fine but why the recipe suggested a tomato sauce is beyond me. While the Japanese elements are minimal, they do really affect the flavoring and it was reminiscent of the Green Dumplings minus the sharp taste of green onions.

This takes quite a bit of effort with all of the steps -- I would guess about 90 minutes or so from start to finish. May be even longer since this was our first time making ravioli.

Next time, I would definitely use more Italian flavorings such as basil and oregano. While the taste was flavorful, I thought the tomatoes were an odd combination with the flavor of the ravioli though this might be my personal bias. I also dipped one of the ravioli in soy sauce like a dumpling and enjoyed that too! I personally thought it worked better with the soy sauce. My cooking buddy topped his with the chunky tomato sauce I made plus a bit of grated Parmesan. He liked it.

For the sauce, I did not use a tomato puree sauce. I used 1 can of diced tomatoes instead. I heated a bit of oil, threw in some dried red chili flakes, and then added the diced tomatoes. I have a preference for tomato chunks.

Makes 4 servings
Cooking Time: 90 minutes

- 2 large bunches of spinach, stemmed
- 2 tbsp white miso
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- 1 lb. firm tofu, drained
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tbsp chopped fresh rosemary
- 70 wonton wrappers
- 1 1/2 cup tomato sauce, hot
- Salt and pepper to taste

Wash spinach, shake excess water from leaves, cook in large uncovered pot on medium heat, stirring frequently, 8 minutes or until wilted. Transfer to colander and squeeze out excess liquid. Chop finely and set aside.

Combine miso, lemon juice, and mirin in a good size bowl. Add tofu and mash to form small curds.

Warm oil and garlic in large skillet over medium heat about 1 minute. Add tofu and 1/2 tsp salt and cook until almost dry, about 5 minutes. Add spinach and dry, about 1 minute. Stir in rosemary and pepper. Transfer to bowl and bring to room temperature.

Line large baking sheet with parchment or wax paper. Have a small bowl with water, pastry brush, and fork nearby.

Place wrapper on a work surface and brush 1/2 inch around the edges with water, placing a heaping teaspoon of filling in the middle of the wrapper. Fold wrapper in half, sealing with fork (I found this step a lot easier using your fingers). Place on a baking sheet. Repeat until filling is gone.

To cook: Bring 4 quarts of water to a boil in a large, wide pot. Add half of ravioli, they shouldn't be crowded. Cook until they look translucent around edges, about 3 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon, shaking off excess water. Transfer to serving bowls and top with warm sauce.

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