The key to this recipe is the noodle making. You need a wide vegetable peeler, preferably one that doesn’t have the ridges used for the julienne cut style of vegetable peeling. You want the chunks of noodles to be long and thin as one noodle, not long, thin, and in tiny tube pieces. Your noodle pieces will come out best if you use a medium sized zucchini. Anything too small or too large and they will be awkwardly shaped or sized. Practice makes perfect and this is certainly a recipe that requires some patience, but the flavor at the end is well worth the time you will spend trying to get those noodles down!
This is a vegan recipe, so Jeff created a nice vegan Parmesan cheese for it using sesame seeds. It might sound a little weird, but the vegan cheese tasted absolutely wonderful and our taste testers were really impressed by it. If you are less picky about veganism and prefer to use traditional parmesan cheese, that is okay. If you are a straight up carnivore and your hobby is making vegan recipes meatier, you can add some meat sauce instead of the plain tomato sauce we used and voila, mission accomplished.
You may see nutritional yeast mentioned in this recipe and think, “hmm, what’s that?” This is a common addition to a lot of vegetarian and vegan recipes because it gives good texture and is full of nutrients. It is not like the yeast you would use in bread making, so don’t accidentally confuse the two! They are not interchangeable and if you don’t have nutritional yeast, sometimes called “nooch” on the internet, you’ll have to get some to be able to try out this recipe.
The recipe is best baked. Frying might be alright if you lightly salt the ravioli and let the moisture be drawn out and then pat it away with a paper towel, but that could also get messy. Baking is the healthier option of the two anyway, and it’s always good to consider that when cooking!
- 4 Medium zucchini
- 1 Block firm tofu
- 2-3 cups baby spinach
- ½ Cup nutritional yeast
- 1 Tbsp Maple syrup - do not use pancake syrup!
- 1 tsp Lemon juice
- 1 tsp Kosher Salt
- 1 tsp Garlic Powder
- Dash of Black Pepper
- 2 Cups Marinara sauce
- Fresh Basil - optional
- For Vegan Parmesan Cheese: ½ Cup Sesame Seeds
- For Vegan Parmesan Cheese: 2 Tbsp Hemp seeds
- For Vegan Parmesan Cheese: 2 Tbsp Nutritional yeast
- For Vegan Parmesan Cheese: ½ tsp Garlic Powder
- For Vegan Parmesan Cheese: ¼ tsp Kosher Salt
- Preheat oven to 425 F.
- Prepare vegan cheese. Combine all ingredients in a food processor or a coffee grinder and grind until it becomes a powder. Set aside.
- Prepare filling. Combine tofu, spinach, nutritional yeast, maple syrup, lemon juice, salt, garlic powder, and a dash of pepper in a food processor or blend and process until smooth.
- Prepare zucchini noodles. It’s important to use the proper equipment for this step. You’ll need a ‘Y’ vegetable peeler for this. Cut the ends off the zucchini’s, and then peel wide strips off the zucchini. These will be your ‘noodles”. Place on a baking sheet lined with paper towels. Place a layer of noodles down, and sprinkle lightly with salt. This draw out the water, so they don’t get soggy.
- Assemble the ravioli. Take 2 noodles and lay them down, then overlap 2 more noodles to create a ‘plus’ sign. Take 1 Tbsp of the filling and place in the center. Fold the left and right side noodles over, and then the top and bottom to create the ravioli. Repeat until finished.
- In a baking dish, pour 1 cup of marinara sauce in the bottom. Place your ravioli’s in the dish. Top with additional sauce, and the vegan parmesan cheese. Bake for 15-20 minutes in oven at 425 F. Garnish with fresh basil.