My oldest daughter, A-, now 19yo, has been moving more into a vegan diet and it’s been interesting to share the foods she eats and hear her explanation and rationale for what I consider a somewhat extreme diet. For her, there’s just something morally wrong with killing animals to eat them, which makes sense to me. But the difference between a vegetarian and a vegan is more nuanced: a vegetarian will consume milk and eat eggs, for example, because the animal wasn’t killed to harvest the food.
Which leads me to all sorts of questions in our modern world, like whether a vegetarian or vegan would eat meat produced by a perfect molecular duplication from a 3d food printer or not (some would, some wouldn’t) or whether an unfertilized chicken egg from a chicken that’s very well treated is acceptable (some would, some wouldn’t). As my daughter finds her place in the gastronomic world, she’s focused on morality, on whether it’s right to kill, to force, to breed animals for the good of humans.
I respect her choices and support anyone who is more conscious of what they put in their body, whether it’s simply a move to more organic foods (see Pesticides as Bad for Kids as Second-Hand Smoke), a decision to skip red meat (see Cutting Back on Red Meat Good for your Health), or the long journey to being a pure vegan, eschewing everything including leather shoes and silk. Me? I’m much more of an omnivore, but I definitely listen to her arguments and ideas about eating and health.
Anyway, tonight she got a bee in her proverbial bonnet about making ravioli, so with the addition of a ravioli press from the local store, vegan ricotta cheese and a vegan dough recipe (no eggs, of course), she got started and we made vegan ravioli from scratch!
Of course, we did have to improvise a bit as we went. Like the rolling pin we used:
You can see the fancy ravioli press in the foreground too. Very nice. $9, a bit steep, but hey, it’s direct from Italy, so it must be authentic, right?
Once we’d rolled and rolled and rolled the dough, it was time to cut out the individual raviolis:
Now to be fair, we realized early on that the vegan dough recipe we had wasn’t great and we couldn’t seem to roll it to be really thin, try as we might. In fact, the real way to make ravioli is to roll the dough very flag, then “grid” one layer, add the filling, put the other layer atop it, then use the press to create the individual ravioli “sandwiches”.
We didn’t do it that way, however: we made the squares, added the filling, then joined the layers together manually, and it worked pretty darn well:
I don’t really understand why, but the recipe insisted that we freeze the ravioli once they were made, so we dutifully jammed a tray full of ravioli into the freeze for an hour or so.
Then we boiled them after a discussion about whether or not they could be baked. I think they could, but the only recipes A- could find were basically ravioli casseroles, which to me were just a weird type of lasagna.
But they cooked, and we added some delicious vegan tomato sauce and…
Doesn’t that look delicious? It was, though next time we need to figure out how to make the dough a bit lighter so we can roll it flatter and have the dough:stuffing ratio be a bit more in favor of the stuffing!
Another meal that turns out to be quite delicious even without the meat. Go figure. 🙂