Potato Kale Ravioli & Tuscan Vegetable Ragout

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Potato and kale ravioli is a testament that “good things take time”. I love to make potato and kale ravioli and to me, the time it takes to prepare and cook them is worth every minute. This is another simple recipe that lets the ingredients and flavor speak for themselves. The soffritto, a combination of onion, carrot, and celery along with aromatics such as garlic, sage, rosemary, and parsley create the amazing flavors of this dish.

Happy Veganuary

What is Veganuary? Well, it’s a nonprofit that encourages people to eat vegan for the first month of the year. Their 2021 Veganuary campaign inspired and supported more than 582,000 people to try vegan during the 2021 campaign – with participants from over 200 countries and territories.  So what better month than “Veganuary” to post my delicious vegan potato and kale ravioli.

Potato and Kale Ravioli

Peasant food

Tuscan vegetable ragout or Sugo Finto is an old recipe born in the peasant cooking of Italy. It’s a great and simple recipe. Basically, poor people that could not afford meat replaced meat with a vegetable Soffritto.  Every country in the world has peasant dishes, and sometimes they are equally popular with the rich and the poor. Pot-au- Fue is a classic example. Along with Sugo Finto, the classic Italian farmer’s vegetable ragout that has been around forever.  Peasant food has always been something that I love to cook and eat. It’s humble, powerful, tasty food that speaks comfort; and more important, comfort food does not need fancy ingredients.

Potato and Kale Ravioli

Building layers of flavors

Cooking is all about layering flavors, bringing food to life, and knowing which herb or spice goes best with ingredients. Cooked over centuries with timeless combinations, the Sugo Finto is a great example of a beloved flavor pairing. The combination of garlic, onions, sage, red wine, tomatoes, and rosemary takes you straight to Italy. The slow-cooked onions release sweetness. Cooked with high-quality olive oil, fresh sage, and garlic that melts in the oil will create solid flavors that can be used as a base for a multitude of dishes. More than anything, remember, recipes are guidelines. I’ve been cooking professionally all my adult life and the one thing I’ve learned is that sometimes you need to have that “lost in the refrigerator attitude” and explore flavors. So if you want to add fresh cilantro or maybe add some capers, go for it and explore the flavors.

The visual

We’ve all heard the saying we eat with our eyes. Making a good plate will be inviting and enhance the pleasure of eating. Long supported by scientific studies, we use visual cues from color to identify and judge the quality and taste of what we eat.  Reds, yellows, and oranges entice the palate, and green foods make us think we are eating healthy – no matter what the food actually is!
The first batch of vegan ravioli dough I made looked really, really pale and didn’t look very enticing at all. The eggs and egg yolks that go into a traditional pasta dough were missing and the ravioli needed some color. By adding saffron to the ravioli dough and oven-roasted tomatoes and a little kale to the plate, makes the presentation more colorful.

What a difference.
Remember, colorful food affects the perception of its flavor. 

Facts about kale

We all know that most fruits and vegetables are sprayed with pesticides. We all know that kale is good for you, but having said that, here’s the dirty little secret about kale. According to the EWG, the Environmental Working Group, kale has moved to #3 on the dirty dozen list of vegetables.

I wash all my vegetables in a DIY vegetable wash, which is very simple to do.
Fill your kitchen sink or large container with cold water. Add 4 tablespoons of baking soda and soak the kale, for 15 minutes. The longer you soak the more pesticides you get rid of. Wash the kale thoroughly and rinse with cold water.

Potato and Kale Ravioli

 

Potato and Kale Ravioli, Tuscan Vegetable Ragout

The Taste

Amazing clean Mediterranean flavor.
The soffritto, a simple combination of onion, carrot, and celery,
and aromatics such as garlic, sage, rosemary, and parsley, are the base of this dish.

The Process

I agree it takes time to make the Ravioli; however, they are worth every minute.
When in season, use fresh tomatoes to cook the Tuscan vegetable ragout;
off-season I use no-salt canned tomatoes.

The Verdict

A recipe that uses simple ingredients very effectively.  I like to cook the sauce and filling the day before serving
and then have an easy day when I make my potato kale ravioli for dinner.

Potato and Kale Ravioli, Tuscan Vegetable Ragout

Chef Norbert
Making homemade potato kale ravioli is a real labor of love. Serving these heavenly parcels of joy is worth every step.
Prep Time 1 hr 15 mins
Cook Time 45 mins
Total Time 2 hrs
Course Entree
Cuisine Mediterranean
Servings 5
Calories 471 kcal

Recommended Equipment

1 Dutch Oven
1 Cutting Board
1 Rolling Pin
1 Piping Bag
1 Chef's Knife

Ingredients
 
 

Pasta Dough

Filling

  • 18 oz kale
  • 1/2 each yellow onion cut into small dice
  • 1 oz water
  • 2 oz extra virgin olive oil
  • 12 oz russet potatoes peeled
  • 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg

Tuscan Vegetable Ragout

  • 1 cup flat-leaf parsley
  • 4 each garlic cloves
  • 6 each sage leaves
  • 1 tbsp fresh rosemary 
  • 1/2 each yellow onion cut into small dice
  • 8 oz carrots cut into small dice
  • 3 each celery stalks cut into small dice
  • 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 cup red wine vegan
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/2 cup whole peeled tomatoes canned
  • 4 tbsp parmesan cheese vegan

Instructions
 

Make the Dough

  • Place water, saffron, and oil in a bowl. Mix together and rest for 5 minutes to infuse the water with the saffron. Make a mound of flour on a wooden board. Make a well in the center, to form a crater-like shape. With a fork, start adding the water, olive oil, saffron mixture. Slowly incorporate more and more of the flour from the edges of the crater as you go along, until you’re left with a thick paste. 
    2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil, 3/4 cup water, 1 tsp saffron, 10 oz Ap flour

Knead the Dough

  • Place the dough on a lightly floured table and knead the dough by pressing firmly into it with the heel of your hand, folding the dough over towards you, giving it a quarter turn, and repeating the pressing and folding motion. Continue kneading for 5 minutes until the dough is elastic and smooth. Flatten the dough a little and cover with a damp towel; place in the refrigerator and rest for one hour.

Roll the Dough:

  • Divide the dough into 4 equal pieces and flatten into a rectangular shape. Work with one piece of dough at a time and keep the rest covered to avoid drying out. Start with the widest setting on your pasta machine and feed the dough through the rollers.  Fold the dough in 3 folds and run through again, and then repeat once more. Make sure the dough is covered with flour. To narrow the rollers, adjust by one notch. Pass the pasta through the rollers again.  I start rolling the dough on the #1 setting, then progress to #4. This results in a delicate pasta sheet.

Make the Soffritto Aromatics

  • Place the parsley, garlic, and herbs on a cutting board and chop into a rough paste, set aside.
    1 cup flat-leaf parsley, 4 each garlic cloves, 6 each sage leaves, 1 tbsp fresh rosemary 

Cook the Tuscan Vegetable Ragout

  • In a Dutch Oven, sauté the diced onions in olive oil until perfectly tender. Do not brown the onions. Add the diced carrots, celery, and red pepper flakes and cook for about 5 minutes or until vegetables are soft. Add garlic-herb mixture to the vegetables and cook, stirring frequently until fragrant, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the red wine and reduce it by half. Puree whole tomatoes, then add pureed tomatoes along with a cup of water to the pot. Let simmer for a good 30 minutes, stirring from time to time until you have a nice thick sauce. Set aside. 
    1/2 each yellow onion, 8 oz carrots, 3 each celery stalks, 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes, 1/2 cup red wine, 1 cup water, 1/2 cup whole peeled tomatoes, 12 oz russet potatoes

Cook the Kale

  • With a knife, remove the leaves from the stem, soak and wash the kale leaves in the DIY vegetable wash. Rinse under cold water and dry. Blanche the kale in boiling water, drain, rinse under cold water, and squeeze with a towel to remove all moisture. Chop finely. Sauté diced onions in olive oil, don't brown the onions. Add the chopped kale and 2 oz of water, cover partly with a lid and braise the kale for about 15 minutes or until soft. Cool and remove any excess moisture.
    18 oz kale, 1/2 each yellow onion, 1/2 each yellow onion, 1 oz water

Cook and mash the potatoes

  • Cut the potatoes into quarters and cook for approximately 20 minutes in boiling water. Drain and season with nutmeg and olive oil then whip with a hand blender.  
    12 oz russet potatoes, 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg, 2 oz extra virgin olive oil

Make the filling

  • Add the cooked kale and mix well with potato mash. Adjust seasoning if needed. Fill a piping bag with the potato kale mixture (use a larger tip for the bag). Set aside. 

Fill, Cut, and Seal the Ravioli

  • Cut your rolled pasta sheet in half and lay both strips next to each other. Very lightly wet the edges of the pasta with a pastry brush. Using the piping bag, squeeze dollops of the filling approximately 2 inches apart on 1 pasta strip.
  • Place the other pasta strip directly on top. Before sealing, gently press on the dough around the filling to eliminate any excess air. Take your pasta cutter and press firmly on the dough around the filling. Finish with a final dusting of flour to keep your ravioli from sticking together.

Cook the Pasta and Serve

  • Bring a large saucepan of generously salted water to a boil. Carefully place your homemade ravioli into the pan and cook for 3 minutes. They should rise to the top by the time they’re ready.
    Plate and serve with the Tuscan vegetable ragout and vegan parmesan cheese.
    4 tbsp parmesan cheese vegan

Chef Notes

Chefs Tips: 
  • Gently press around each ravioli, pressing outward toward edges to seal and remove any air pockets. You want to ensure any air is pressed out before you seal it, otherwise, the ravioli might burst in the water or cook unevenly.
  • Garnish the ravioli with oven-dried cherry tomatoes and sauteed kale to add color to the plate.
  • Cover the ravioli loosely with plastic wrap. (ravioli can be made up to three hours in advance)
  • The recipe makes 5 servings of 4 each ravioli 

Nutrition

Serving: 1 Serving | Calories: 471kcal | Carbohydrates: 57g | Protein: 11g | Fat: 22g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g | Monounsaturated Fat: 14g | Sodium: 477mg | Potassium: 1126mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 5g

Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate

Keyword Kale, Pasta, Ravioli
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