May 29, 2011

Vine and Dine, herbed ravioli with porcini pesto and tofu ricotta

The second Vine and Dine, hosted by Tami Noyes of American Vegan Kitchen, is from Voluptuous Vegan, by Myra Kornfeld. We missed the first Vine and Dine of May mostly because I didn't realize there were two in a month. 

Voluptuous Vegan was one of the first three cookbooks I bought to help us transition into veganism back in the good ol' days. Over the years this book has been put to the wayside mainly because the recipes are so involved to make. The recipes I made out this book required a great deal of time and dedication. 

No exception with this recipe.

Every three years or so I take out my pasta roller to make some ravioli. Every three years, I again realize why it's been three years since I've made ravioli. 

Tami had great timing with this V&D. It's been three years since my last forage into ravioli-land. After the meal, the pasta roller was safely tucked back into the cabinet, awaiting my future memory-lapse.

The ravioli was delicious. I love porcini mushrooms and the mixture with the tofu ricotta was very good. The pepper salad was a welcome addition and the basil pesto was great as well. My only complaint with the recipe is the amount of prepared ingredients. I used much less of the porcini pesto than I made and we have a lot of red pepper salad still in the fridge. Other wise, a wonderful meal with a ___ wine. What kind of wine? Here is David with the Ho-Down:

That is Mikel's Stitch Hat. Mikel has worn it everyday for the last week. He is a big Stitch fan and has even dubbed his  voice in this YouTube Video. Yes, that is really Mikel!
 I guess David felt like getting in touch with his inner-child.

 This weeks Vine and Dine entrĂ©e of Herbed Ravioli With Porcini Pesto and Tofu “Ricotta” turned out to be a very tasty offering.  Of course, when I heard we were having another pasta dish, I selected another red to pair with the mild richness and pleasant earthiness of the porcini pesto.

My choice, this time around, was an organic La Rocca Zinfandel, estate bottled in 2006.  This wine turned out to be an excellent partner in crime for the herbed ravioli!  The La Rocca Zinfandel is a medium bodied, fruity wine with sweetness so mild that it perfectly complemented the earthy flavors put forth by the herbed ravioli with porcini pesto.

The Chef and I tried a glass about a half-hour before the meal, to establish a baseline from which to judge the complements between the meal and the fermented grape nectar.  The wine by itself is very nice but when paired with the pasta it becomes something more.  Chef and I both agree, the fruity flavor with a slightly spicy undertone (we didn’t really taste much spice but this wine is supposed to be famous for it’s peppery flavor) truly enhanced our enjoyment of the meal.

As you can see, this bottle of wine has a cork, which makes me feel much better about my selection, even though there are more and more vineyards that forgo the tradition of corking.  I give the La Rocca Zinfandel four and a half stars out of five and I look forward to trying this one with a seitan steak or maybe a seitan and vegetable kabob.

May 21, 2011



I have been wanting to make Paella for a long, long time now. I have read Paella recipes and watched Food TV shows on how to make a Paella the best way. Still, vying to make it is not the same as making it. When I saw that one of Tami's tester recipes for her upcoming cookbook, Grills Gone Vegan, was a paella, I printed it out and made it the very next day.

Let me say that this is done just right.
From the flavor and texture of the rice, to the crust on the bottom of the dish, to the tofu that tops it, it is out of this world. And all that without a paella pan. For the longest time I thought I would have to buy one of those pans, and since I only buy kitchen items that have more than one function, the paella pan was not high on my list of need-to-buy, even if it was on my wish list.

Although she has many wonderful recipes for this book, this one was totally one of my favorite dishes. In fact, I kept helping myself to more, even though I knew I should stop.
Bad, but, oh, so good.
Have I mentioned how much I love testing for her? 

This is a perfect dinner party meal as well since it is so elegant and easy to prepare.