Recently when making pizza I decided that I’d also like some dough balls à la Pizza Express. I doubled my pizza base recipe, planning to just make plain dough balls. However, when I laid eyes on the vegan cheese in my fridge, I decided cheese on only the pizza wasn’t enough – I needed cheese filled dough balls!
The cheese filled dough balls taste great dipped in vegan garlic butter (you can make your own by mixing vegan butter, crushed garlic and seasoning to taste) alongside pizza, pasta or even just a salad. Although they are best eaten hot to get that oozing cheese satisfaction, I can confirm they also taste great cold the next day if you have any leftovers!
Vegan friendly pasta is readily available at supermarkets as long as you stick to dry pasta. However, for those wanting to branch out a bit from the standard fusilli or penne, finding vegan ravioli is a lot more challenging. Ravioli pasta is usually made with egg, and the vegetarian versions pretty much always contain cheese. With this in mind, once I’d perfected my vegan ricotta cheese recipe, the next recipe I began working on was a vegan ravioli recipe that would use the ricotta cheese. I used aquafaba to replace the egg and found that pasta is surprisingly easy to make – even without a pasta machine! The intense flavour of the sundried tomato in this ravioli means that you only need to serve the pasta with a bit of olive oil or vegan butter rather than loading on a flavour-heavy sauce.
However long you’ve been vegan, I can guarantee that you’ve heard the words “I would go vegan, but I could never give up cheese!” escape at least one person’s mouth. These days there are so many cheese alternatives for vegans that everyone is bound to find at least one they like, and most can easily be bought at your local supermarket. However, the one cheese I’ve not found available to buy is vegan ricotta cheese.
This recipe for vegan ricotta cheese takes one vegan staple food – tofu – and turns it into a delicious vegan cheese ready for use in any recipe you want. As with ‘regular’ ricotta cheese, this vegan version is extremely versatile as it doesn’t have an overpowering flavour. This means that although it can be eaten on its own on top of crackers, it also tastes great paired with any number of other flavours. My favourite way to eat vegan ricotta cheese is in a big baguette, topped with vine ripened tomatoes, fresh basil leaves and a sprinkle of black pepper.
The best thing about this recipe? It only takes 5 minutes and 5 ingredients (plus seasoning) to make!
1 cup dried soya protein mince
1 tablespoon yeast extract (Marmite)
1 can chickpeas
1/2 white onion (finely chopped)
3 tablespoons aquafaba*
1 tablespoon garlic powder
1 tablespoon liquid smoke
3 tablespoons tomato puree
3 tablespoons flour
1 teaspoon dried mixed herbs
*Aquafaba is the liquid from a can of chickpeas.
500g strong white bread flour
1 cup vegan cheese
3 tablespoons aquafaba
2 tablespoons Marmite