Artichoke Cashew Cream Tortellini Recipe by Chef Tal Ronnen (and a Couple More Vegan Recipes)

Artichoke Cashew Cream Tortellini by Chef Tal Ronnen
While watching culinary students in Chef Tal Ronnen‘s class try folding tortellini, I couldn’t help thinking to myself, “Amateurs.”

I started folding and shaping mahn doo when I was six-years-old.

Of course, I haven’t made any sort of dumpling since then, but that’s not the point, now, is it?!

The recipe for the tortellini follows, and comes from celebrity vegan chef Tal Ronnen’s new cookbook, The Conscious Cook. The recipe looks long and somewhat involved, but only because it includes steps for making the vegan pasta from scratch. Okay, actually, the recipe is long and involved, but I guess that’s the time you give up when you choose not to eat animals. Links to recipes for Celery Root Soup with Chive Oil and Granny Smith Apples and Scaloppine with Shiitake Sake Sauce, Braised Pea Shoots on Crispy Udon Noodle Cakes follow.

As a note, the pasta was an even brighter, sunnier yellow than the photo, but without any added eggs (eggs are not vegan!). In order to account for eggs, Chef Ronnen used silken tofu for protein and red palm oil for color (tofu and palm oil are vegan!).

Artichoke Tortellini with Saffron Cream Sauce

Makes 6 servings
Prep time: 2 hours

Artichoke Tortellini Ingredients:

For the pasta dough:
4 ounces silken tofu
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon red palm oil
½ teaspoon sea salt
2 cups semolina flour, plus more for dusting

For the filling:
Sea salt
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 (14-ounce) can artichoke hearts,
drained and roughly chopped
2 garlic cloves
¼ cup dry white wine
2 cups regular Cashew Cream (* recipe below *)
¼ cup nutritional yeast flakes
Freshly ground black pepper

For the saffron cream sauce:
Sea salt
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 small shallot, minced
½ cup dry white wine
1 cup regular Cashew Cream
1 tablespoon nutritional yeast flakes
Pinch of saffron threads
Freshly ground black pepper
4 tablespoons Earth Balance

To serve:
6 cups fresh baby arugula
4 plum tomatoes, cut into thin wedges, seeds and inner flesh removed

Artichoke Tortellini with Saffron Cream Sauce Directions:

1. Make the pasta dough: Place the tofu, olive oil, red palm oil, 2 tablespoons cold water, and the salt in a food processor or blender and blend on high for 1 minute.

2. If using a food processor, gradually add the flour, 1/2 cup at a time, to the tofu mixture and pulse to combine, adding more water if necessary to make a smooth dough. Once combined, turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead by hand for 5 to 10 minutes, or transfer to a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook and knead on low speed for 5 minutes.

3. If using a blender, set the tofu mixture aside and mound the flour on a work surface. Make a well in the middle of the flour and pour the tofu mixture into the well. Using a fork or your fingers, begin to incorporate the flour into the tofu mixture, starting at the inner rim of the well. Keep pushing the flour up from the base of the mound to retain the well shape. When the dough comes together, push aside any loose scraps or excess flour and knead the dough for 5 to 10 minutes, pulling in extra flour or adding a bit more water if needed to form a firm, springy dough. Wrap in plastic wrap and let it rest in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.

4. Make the filling: Place a sauté pan over medium heat. Sprinkle the bottom with a pinch of salt and heat for 1 minute. Add the oil and heat for 30 seconds, being careful not to let it smoke. This will create a nonstick effect.

5. Add the artichoke hearts and garlic and sauté for 2 to 3 minutes, until the garlic is softened but not browned. Deglaze the pan with the wine and cook until almost all the wine has evaporated. Add the Cashew Cream and stir well. Add the nutritional yeast, season with salt and pepper to taste, and stir well. Cool for about 10 minutes, until thickened. Pulse the artichoke mixture in a food processor until a texture similar to that of ricotta is achieved.

6. Assemble the pasta: Pull off a small piece of pasta dough. Rewrap the remaining dough in the plastic wrap and return it to the refrigerator. Set a pasta machine on its widest setting and press the dough through the machine 2 or 3 times. Pull the dough as it emerges from the machine to form a more uniform rectangle, and dust with flour as needed. Reduce the machine setting and run the dough through 2 or 3 more times. Continue tightening the setting and running the dough through until the machine is on the narrowest setting.

7. Lay the dough on a work surface. Using a 3-inch ring mold or round cutter, cut circles out of the dough. Place 1 teaspoon of the artichoke filling in the center of each circle. Fold the dough over the filling, pressing to seal the edges, and bend into a circular tortellini shape. Place on a lightly floured baking sheet and cover with plastic wrap. Repeat with the remaining dough and filling. (You will have extra dough; roll it out and cut it into fettuccine or pappardelle, if you’d like, or refrigerate it for several days.)

8. Make the saffron cream sauce: Place a medium sauté pan over medium heat. Sprinkle the bottom with a pinch of salt and heat for 1 minute. Add the oil and heat for 30 seconds, being careful not to let it smoke.

9. Add the shallot and sauté for 2 to 3 minutes, being careful not to let it brown. Add the wine and cook until it has reduced by half, about 5 minutes. Whisk in the Cashew Cream, nutritional yeast, and saffron and cook for 5 minutes, stirring constantly. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Remove from the heat. Whisk in the Earth Balance 1 tablespoon at a time.

10. Cook and serve the tortellini: Fill a large pot with water and 1 teaspoon salt and bring to a boil over high heat. Add the tortellini, return the water to a boil, and cook for 3 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, remove the tortellini to the pan with the saffron cream sauce and pile the arugula and tomato wedges on top. Gently toss over low heat to heat through and serve immediately.

Cashew Cream

Makes about 2¼ cups thick cream or 3½ cups regular cream
Prep time: 10 minutes, plus soaking overnight.

Cashew Cream Ingredients:

2 cups whole raw cashews (not pieces, which are often dry), rinsed very well under cold water
water

Cashew Cream Directions:

1. Put the cashews in a bowl and add cold water to cover them. Cover the bowl and refrigerate overnight.

2. Drain the cashews and rinse under cold water. Place them in a blender with enough fresh cold water to cover them by 1 inch. Blend on high for several minutes until very smooth. (If you’re not using a professional high-speed blender such as a Vita-Mix, which creates an ultra-smooth cream, strain the cashew cream through a fine-mesh sieve.)

3. To make thick cashew cream, which some of the recipes in this book call for, simply reduce the amount of water when they are placed in the blender, so that the water just slightly covers the cashews.

Celery Root Soup

Celery Root Soup with Chive Oil and Granny Smith Apples Recipe

Makes 6 servings
Prep time: 1 hour, 10 minutes

Celery Root Soup Ingredients:

Sea salt
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 medium celery roots, peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes
2 stalks celery, chopped
1 large onion, chopped
2 quarts faux chicken or vegetable stock (try Better Than Bouillon brand)
1 bay leaf
1 cup thick Cashew Cream
Freshly ground black pepper
1 Granny Smith apple, unpeeled, very finely diced
Chive Oil (recipe follows)

Celery Root Soup Directions:

1. Place a large stockpot over medium heat. Sprinkle the bottom with a pinch of salt and heat for 1 minute. Add the oil and heat for 30 seconds, being careful not to let it smoke. This will create a nonstick effect.

2. Add the celery root, celery, and onion and sauté for 6 to 10 minutes, stirring often, until soft but not brown. Add the stock and bay leaf, bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 30 minutes. Add the Cashew Cream and simmer for an additional 10 minutes.

3. Working in batches, pour the soup into a blender, cover the lid with a towel (the hot liquid tends to erupt), and blend on high. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Ladle into bowls. Place a spoonful of the diced apple in the center of each serving, drizzle the Chive Oil around the apple, and serve.

How to Make Chive Oil

Makes ½ cup

Chive Oil Ingredients:

1 small bunch chives
½ cup canola oil
Pinch of sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Chive Oil Directions:

Blanch the chives for 30 seconds in boiling water, then drain and chill in an ice bath. Drain, wrap the chives in a towel, and squeeze the moisture out. Place in a blender with the remaining ingredients and blend for 2 minutes. Strain through a fine-mesh sieve. Put the chive oil in a plastic squeeze bottle with a small opening or use a spoon for drizzling it on the soup.

Gardein Chicken Scalloppine with Shiitake Sake Sauce

“Chicken” Scaloppini with Shiitake Sake Sauce, Braised Pea Shoots, and Crispy Udon Noodle Cakes Recipe

Makes 4 servings
Prep time: 45 minutes

Scaloppine, Shiitake Sake Sauce, Pea Shoots and Udon Noodle Cakes Ingredients:

For the udon noodle cakes:
4 (7-ounce single-serving) packs precooked udon noodles, still in their packagesSea salt
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
Freshly ground black pepper

For the pea shoots:
Pinch of sea salt
1 tablespoon sesame oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
¼ cup faux chicken stock
2 cups packed pea shoots

For the chicken:
8 (2-ounce) Gardein frozen scaloppini
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
½ cup unbleached all-purpose flour
4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 pound shiitake mushrooms, stemmed. cut into ¼-inch slices
1 cup dry sake
½ cup faux chicken stock
½ cup Earth Balance
1 tablespoon minced fresh chives
Microgreens to garnish

Scaloppine Directions:

1. Make the udon noodle cakes: Preheat the oven to 200°F. Remove the plastic from the noodles, keeping the noodles tightly packed. Using a 3-inch round cutter or ring mold, cut one round of noodles from each pack.

2. Place a large sauté pan over high heat. Sprinkle the bottom with a pinch of salt and heat for 1 minute. Add the oil and heat for 30 seconds, being careful not to let it smoke. This will create a nonstick effect.

3. Add the noodle cakes and fry until browned and crisp on both sides, seasoning with salt and pepper as they cook, about 3 minutes per side. Remove to a paper-towel-lined baking sheet and put in the oven to keep warm.

4. Make the chicken: Flatten the Gardein scaloppini with your hand to 1/2 inch thick, then cut each in half. Season with salt and pepper, then dredge in the flour.

5. Wipe out the pan you used for the noodle cakes and add 2 tablespoons of the oil. Heat over medium heat, then add the scaloppini and cook until browned, about 3 minutes on each side. Remove to a plate and set aside.

6. Add the remaining 2 tablespoons oil, heat over medium heat, then add the mushrooms and cook for 3 to 4 minutes, stirring often, until softened. Deglaze the pan with the sake and cook until reduced by half, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the stock and cook for 2 more minutes.

7. Remove from the heat and whisk in the Earth Balance 1 tablespoon at a time, whisking constantly so that the sauce doesn’t separate. Stir in the chives. Return the scaloppini to the pan and toss to coat it with the sauce. Cover to keep warm while you make the pea shoots.

8. Make the pea shoots: Place a medium sauté pan over medium heat. Sprinkle the bottom with a pinch of salt and heat for 1 minute. Add the oil and heat for 30 seconds, being careful not to let it smoke.

9. Add the garlic and sauté for 30 seconds. Add the stock and pea shoots and sauté for 3 to 5 minutes, until wilted. Drain the excess liquid.

10. Assemble the dish: Place a noodle cake in the center of each plate. Top each cake with a spoonful of pea shoots, then top the pea shoots with the scaloppini. Spoon a little of the sake and mushroom sauce over the scaloppini and drizzle it around the plate. Garnish with microgreens and serve immediately.

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  • Tommy

    “Okay, actually, the recipe is long and involved, but I guess that’s the time you give up when you choose not to eat animals. ”

    What an odd statement…

    Really? Isn’t that the time you give up when choose to make any recipe from scratch, vegan or not? There are plenty of simple and fast vegan recipes and plenty of difficult ones. The same can be said of omni recipes.

  • http://www.thedeliciouslife.com Sarah J. Gim

    Tommy: VERY true. :D Because you can eat “fast vegan,” too.

  • http://vanillakitchen.blogspot.com dawn

    wouldn’t that be great though to have a McVeganRaw food drive thru? why has this not happened yet?

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