Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Pumpkin Ravioli with Peas & Caramelized Shallots

When serving ravioli, I typically think of topping it with some sort of sauce - marinara, Alfredo, even a vegan cheese style sauce. The "Pumpkin Ravioli with Peas & Caramelized Shallots" (page 230) was my first experience of using ravioli not as something to be "topped", but rather as just one component in a mixed ingredient dish. And, I have to make a confession. The recipe actually starts from scratch, giving detailed instructions on how to make the ravioli, using a pasta dough recipe found elsewhere in this book, and filling with a mixture of pumpkin, tofu, herbs and spices. I had been considering this recipe for quite awhile, and when I saw premade vegan pumpkin filled ravioli in a natural foods store, a complete rarity, I took it as a sign. I bought two packs and decided to make this recipe, which at this point, became quite easy! There are only two other ingredients once you have the ravioli made (or purchased) - the shallots and the peas. The shallots are cooked long and slow over medium heat in order to caramelize them, and then the peas are added to the skillet just long enough to warm through, along with the cooked ravioli. Although a quite unusual (for me) way to prepare ravioli, I really liked it. I thought it needed a little zip, so I added red pepper flakes at the table. Caramelizing onions (or shallots in this case) is usually done by cooking them in oil, but you can do it using water. Just add a couple teaspoons of water at a time to the skillet as the shallots are cooking, waiting until the skillet begins to dry out before adding water again. Continue this for about 15 minutes until the shallots are quite soft and golden brown.

Keeping it "McDougall Friendly" checklist:
  • Use the water method of caramelizing onions instead of cooking in oil. Using a medium heat, allow the shallots to cook until almost dry, adding 2-3 teaspoons of water at a time to allow the cooking process to continue. Repeat this procedure for about 15 minutes until the shallots are soft and golden brown.
  • If you are lucky enough to find  pre-made whole grain pumpkin filled ravioli, buy as much as you have room to store! :-) Otherwise, you can make your own using whole wheat pastry flour - not something I've ever tried, so I can't really comment on how that would work. 

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