Shiitake, Corn & Leek Ravioli // Orange Butter // Crispy Mint & Almonds
Dining out on Italian can be difficult as a vegan. My hubby and I have a few go-to places here in the North Bay that really know how to cater to my dietary needs but even then, the dishes I’m served are fairly status quo. There’s capellini with tomatoes, penne with fresh vegetables and every now and then, a risotto made without cream or butter. But when I really want an inventive, tastebud-bursting Italian dish, I need to make it myself. And if I’m making it myself, it’s gonna end up having a little Asian persuasion up in there.
As I was dreaming up dinner ideas this afternoon I thought about what I had in my fridge. Shiitake mushrooms, a fresh ear of corn and leeks were begging to be thrown into something together. A sweet Valencia orange seemed the perfect pairing for a decadent butter sauce. And the mint and almonds were finishing touches that could tie the Asian and Italian influences together perfectly.
Homemade pasta dough is extremely easy to make if you have a little bit of time and elbow grease. And the joy of rolling it and cutting into your desired shape is so worth the effort. This is a great activity to do with your kids too. It’s like edible play dough.
Here’s what you’ll need to bring this Asian-Italian dish home (makes 16-18 ravioli):
For the ravioli dough:
- 2 cups unbleached, all-purpose flour, plus flour for rolling
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 3/4 cup WARM water
For the filling:
- oil for sautéing (I used safflower)
- 4 oz shiitake mushrooms, sliced
- 1/2 tsp fresh ginger, minced
- 1/2 leek, ends trimmed, sliced lengthwise, then crosswise
- 1/2 ear of fresh corn, shaved
- sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 1 tbsp fresh chives, minced
For the sauce:
- 5 tbsp Earth Balance
- one medium-sized orange, juiced
- 2 tbsp agave
- handful of fresh mint leaves
- 1/4 cup almonds, sliced
First, make the dough. Sift together the flour and salt in a bowl. Slowly stir in the warm water, kneading constantly, until it’s smooth and workable. You can knead on a floured surface if that’s easier than inside the bowl. Cover with a towel and let it rest for 20 minutes.
While the dough rests, prepare your filling by heating your oil on a skillet. Add in the ginger and leeks, then the shiitakes and corn. Sauté until browned and then season with salt and pepper. Toss in the chives and set aside to cool.
At this point, set your pasta pot to boil with salted water.
Then using a well-floured surface, roll out the dough and cut with a round ravoili or cookie cutter. I broke my hunk of dough into two equal parts to make it more workable.
Place your ravioli into the pasta pot, one at a time. Stir gently and constantly as you drop them in, in order to prevent them from sticking together. Cook until they rise to the surface.
Meanwhile, begin your sauce by melting the 5 tbsp Earth Balance in your skillet over medium-high heat. Add in the fresh orange juice and agave and stir to combine. Lay in the mint leaves and almonds and allow to sizzle until the leaves are almost crispy and the almonds are golden. The mint leaves will finish crisping as you sear your ravioli.
Carefully ladle out your cooked ravioli and lay them into the pan with the sauce. You will need to do this in 2-3 batches so the ravioli don’t overlap in the pan. Pan sear them, turning them over, until they’re lightly golden on each side. Finally, plate your ravioli, garnishing with the crispy mint leaves and almonds. Serve immediately and enjoy!
*If you like this recipe, you may also enjoy my Sweet Pea Ravioli with Crispy Lemon Verbena and Almonds!