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Almond “Ricotta” + Spinach Ravioli

…plus a ramble about my journey towards intuitive eating.

I created this recipe because ravioli is one of my all-time favourite Italian recipes and I’ve never had a good vegan version of it. My intention here was to create a solid plant-based alternative to the classic ricotta + spinach ravioli filling. And this one will NOT disappoint!!

However, this post may result as confusing. Going to come right out and say it! Because while the filling totally is made with nothing but plants — and that’s the star of the show, truly. I opted, however, to use the classic egg pasta in this recipe. Let me explain why.

My relationship with food is a confusing one, a result of a painful and tortured journey fuelled by diet culture, compulsive and problematic thoughts around food and body image. Where I stand today, 98% of the time, I eat plant-based. Eating predominantly plants is how I feel good, but in the last few years of labelling myself as vegan, I found myself back in some thought and behavioural patterns that I thought I was way over. Think obsessively eating and thinking about eating (especially the foods I was “not allowed to eat”) bingeing, then consequently depriving myself. Behaviours I thought I had moved away from. The pesky disordered eating of my early 20s was making its way back into my life and I realised that for my overall health, it was actually healthier to occasionally introduce certain foods that I had banned. To adopt a more intuitive eating lifestyle as opposed to clinging so strongly to my self-imposed label of vegan.

That’s why while creating these recipes I’m finding it important to not focus on labelling them as vegan or gluten free or paleo, but to offer different options. We’ve all got our history and story with food and what we feel good consuming. I’m not here to tell you what you should or shouldn’t be eating. I’m not here to label some foods as good and some as bad. Just exploring flavours that excite me and sharing my own adventures in the kitchen.

So, when creating this recipe I ended up using classic pasta all’uovo to make the dough of these babies. Mostly because I hadn’t made traditional egg pasta in so long. Also because I’m blessed to live amongst farmers who offer fresh eggs on their doorsteps around my neighbourhood so I personally feel good about consuming some from time to time.

Now the filling, this plant based ricotta and spinach is honestly so delicious, I’ve fooled some real Italians who’ve mistaken them for classic ravioli. You will want to eat this filling on it’s own, I kid you not. The hint of nutmeg and lemon zest are what do it for me. Just give it a try, you’ll be glad you tried.

Ingredients (approx. 4 portions)

Pasta all’Uovo

  • 300g Flour (type 00′ is best but all-purpose will do too!)
  • 3 eggs
  • Salt (to taste)

Almond Spinach Filling

  • 100g almonds
  • 375 tofu (1 block)
  • 4 tbsp lemon juice (1/2 a lemon)
  • zest from 1 lemon
  • 500g spinach
  • 3-4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • 3 tbsp parmigiano (vegan parmigiano if desired– I used Violife parmigiano)


Making the filling:

  1. Soak the almonds overnight. This allows the skin to loosen and easily be removed (you can skip this step if using already peeled almonds).
  2. Remove the peel by squeezing the almonds gently between your fingers.
  3. Blend the almonds to a paste with just enough water to cover them.
  4. Heat the almond paste on low heat until thick and creamy.
  5. Add the almond paste to a bowl. Crumble tofu finely into the bowl and mash together.
  6. Boil spinach for about 5-8 minutes, until very soft. Drain and rinse under cold water.
  7. Chop spinach very finely.
  8. Add spinach to the almond-tofu mixture along with all other filling ingredients.

To make the dough:

  1. Make a “fountain” with flour + salt (a small hill with a well in the centre).
  2. Break the eggs in the centre.
  3. Mix with a fork starting from the centre, gradually incorporating all of the flour.
  4. Knead the dough with your hands eventually forming a small soft and homogeneous ball.
  5. Let the dough rest covered with a damp cloth for 30 minutes.

Making ravioli:

  1. Sprinkle a light layer of flour on a clean counter or table. Using a rolling pin, roll dough until smooth and thin, about 1-2 mm. If you have a pasta machine, that will speed up the process! If not, work in sections rolling out the dough.
  2. Cut the dough into squares and start spooning out the filling onto the centre of the squares about 5 cm apart.
  3. Place another dough square on top and press around the edges to seal firmly. (If you want neat edges you can use cut the edges then incorporate all the scraps of dough together and roll it out again.
  4. Lay out all the finished ravioli on a floured surface so they don’t stick, make sure they are spaced out and not toughing without flour to protect them!
  5. To cook: drop the ravioli into salted boiling water for 7 minutes. They will start to float once they’re almost finished. Remove with a slotted spoon. Don’t overcrowd your pot, cook them in batches. Serve warm with your favourite sauce!

Can I freeze these ravioli?

Yes! These beautiful squares of joy freeze perfectly. In fact, since it’s quite a long laborious process to make a batch, I highly recommend making many in advance then popping them in the freezer. You can freeze them laying spread out on a tray or chopping board (to make sure they don’t stick together initially) then once they’ve hardened after an hour or so, put them into a bag for better storage.

I hope you enjoy these as much as we have. In fact, I think it’s time for me to whip up another batch of these beauties. Perhaps you’ll join me? So curious how they turn out for you…