Three weeks ago, I decided I wanted to make stuffed pasta. The biggest issue holding me back was the filling. In the US, there are a few stuffed vegan pastas on the market. Ten years ago, there was only one or two companies that made stuffed vegan pastas, so having a few more different flavors to choose from is a nice change of pace. At the same time, it can feel a bit monotonous... always choosing between the same few fillings--butternut squash, spinach, mushroom, or almond or tofu ricotta. I wanted to come up with a filling that was different, flavorful, and worth the effort. And furthermore, frozen vegan stuffed pastas are dominated by ravioli. If I was going to take the time to make them, I wanted a new shape.
After landing on making tortellini, I still had to figure out the filling. Until it came to me, what if I ground up grilled artichoke hearts, and it acted like ricotta? Carrots are very spring and slightly sweet. Nutritional yeast, dijon, garlic and lemon will make the "ricotta" taste brighter and add some of the cheesy elements. And parsley, because parsley!
This dish feels like a spring day to me. It takes some time to fold all the wonton wrapper tortellini, but nailing the fold gives you a badass feeling. When you do enough of the tortellini, you can't help but feel unstoppable. You deserve the badass feeling! Also, egg wash is overrated. You don't need it to hold wonton wrapper tortellini together. Water works perfectly well.
I used grilled artichokes from the produce section of my local grocer. These may not be available in all areas, so a good alternative would be artichokes packed in oil. Just be sure to drain off the oil and pat them dry with a paper towel. Frozen or water-packed artichokes might have too much water, and make the filling runny. If you choose to use frozen or water-packed artichokes, just make sure to remove as much water from the artichokes as possible (maybe sauté in olive oil until they break down and nearly all of the liquid evaporates away?). However, if you have access to grilled artichokes or want to make your own, I would highly recommend it. It adds to the overall flavor of the dish.
No matter how you "artichoke", this recipe is solid gold! As a variation, skip the garlic butter arugula and serve with your favorite marinara sauce.
Carrot Artichoke Tortellini with Garlic Butter Arugula
1 cup grilled artichokes (see notes above)
¼ cup nutritional yeast
2 garlic cloves
½ tsp lemon juice
¼ tsp dijon mustard
1 tsp + 2 Tbsp olive oil
1 cup carrots
½ cup flat leaf parsley, finely chopped
14 ounce package of wonton wrappers (24 or more)
Garlic Butter Arugula:
3-4 Tbsp vegan butter
1 garlic clove, coarsely chopped
4 cups fresh arugula, packed
Salt, to taste
Black pepper, to taste
1. In a food processor or blender, add grilled artichokes, nutritional yeast, garlic, dijon, lemon and 1 tsp olive oil. Cover with lid and blend until smooth, but thick. Scrape into a mixing bowl and set aside.
2. In the same food processor or blender, add the carrots, and pulse until finely chopped. Add 2 Tbsp olive oil with carrots to a skillet over medium heat, and sauté for 5 minutes or until soft. Add to the mixing bowl with the artichoke hearts.
3. Add the parsley to the mixing bowl, and combine everything. Taste, and adjust seasonings, if needed.
4. Lay one of the wonton wrapper flat. Using your finger, wet the edges of the entire wonton (leave the center dry).
5. Spoon a teaspoon of filling into the center of the wonton.
6. Fold the wonton in half. Press out as much air as possible (it will keep them from prematurely floating to the top during the boiling process). Press the edges together.
7. Fold the end up.
8. Wet the ends of the tortellini.
9. Wrap one end of the tortellini around the other and press together.
10. Place complete tortellini on a very dry plate. At the half way point of folding all the tortellini, fill a large, deep pot with water and place on the stove to bring it to a boil. Continue folding the tortellini until all are completed.
11. Add 8-10 tortellini to a colander. Lower it into rapidly boiling water, and boil for 60 seconds. Remove and place cooked tortellini on a plate. Continue boiling in small batches until all the tortellini are cooked.
12. Melt vegan butter e in a skillet over medium heat. Once butter is completely melted, turn heat down to low and sauté garlic for 2-3 minutes. Add arugula and allow it to wilt. Toss with tortellini and serve.