Penne Alla Vodka was my all time favorite dinner growing up, and still is, only vegan! At any Italian restaurant, it's my go to meal if its on the menu.
I really like making Penne Alla Vodka too. But this time I thought I would put a new spin on my Italian favorite – using ravioli in place of the penne, and adding roasted red peppers to my vodka sauce.
I figured that the sweet yet savory sauce would be the perfect compliment to the fluffy, creamy basil ricotta. Well, these little UFOs pretty much knocked my socks off so I had to share the recipe with you.
INGREDIENTS (for approx. 30 ravioli)
3 cups all-purpose flour (or brown rice flour for gluten-free)
1 cup warm water
1/2 tsp sea salt
creamy basil ricotta filling:
1 block tofu (approx. 400 grams)
1 cup cashews
1/2 cup fresh basil
1/4 cup unsweetened plant milk
2 large garlic cloves
juice from 1/2 medium-sized lemon
1 tbs extra virgin olive oil
1 tbs nutritional yeast
1 1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp onion powder
roasted red pepper vodka sauce:
3 red bell peppers
2 cups marinara sauce (my favorite is Victoria Organic Garden Herb Marinara)
1/2 cup cashews
1/2 cup water
1/4 cup fresh basil
3 large garlic cloves
3 oz vodka (approx. 90 ml)
1 tbs extra virgin olive oil
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1. Soak the cashews for both the filling and sauce. If you don't have time to soak them overnight, then let them soak in hot (not boiling) water for 15 minutes to soften.
2. Heat oven to 450 degrees fahrenheit (230 degrees celsius).
3. When the cashews are done soaking, remove them from the water and make the ricotta filling. Add all the filling ingredients except the tofu into a blender or food processor. Blend until smooth. In a separate bowl, crumble or mash the tofu until broken into little pieces. Fold in the blended mixture with the tofu and mix until well-combined. It should be a fluffy yet creamy consistency.
4. Core the bell pepper stems and seeds. Place peppers in the oven once pre-headed. Cook until slightly charred on the outside.
5. Fill a large pot with water and some big pinches of sea salt. Let boil.
6. Add dough ingredients into a bowl and mix thoroughly by hand, or in a stand mixer with a dough hook (preferred). The texture will be somewhat dry looking, but mix until a mostly well-combined dough forms. Place the dough on a lightly-floured surface (I used a pastry mat) and kneed with hands until smooth. Roll the dough out with a rolling pin until approx. 1 mm thick.
7. Use a jar lid or something equivalent and twist out circles of dough. If the dough circles are too thick in some spots, flatten it with your fingers a bit. Place 1/2 tbs of filling onto the center of the circles, and place another dough circle overtop. Pinch the edges together until the seams blend into one. Kneed and roll out excess dough to make more raviolis.
8. When water is boiling, gently add the raviolis to the pot. Lightly stir the raviolis around for a few seconds to make sure they aren't sticking to the bottom of the pot.
9. While the raviolis cook, add all of the sauce ingredients to a blender or food processor except the vodka. Transfer the mixture into a saucepan and cook on medium heat. Add the vodka when the sauce is starting to steam. Place a lid on top and continue to simmer on medium to low heat.
10. When the raviolis start to float to the top of water, use a hand-strainer to strain and remove from water. Place the raviolis directly on a serving dish. Add desired amount of sauce to the raviolis and serve topped with fresh basil, cracked black pepper, and a sprinkle of vegan parmesan if you'd like. Enjoy!