Broccoli + sunflower seed ravioli with cashew vodka sauce

Broccoli + sunflower seed ravioli

I first drafted this post on 16 May 2013. Back before we left for Europe and at a time when I had every intention of sharing a ravioli recipe while we were on the Italy leg of our trip. But then, at what felt like the very last minute, I made an executive decision to develop a recipe for raw gelato (which a lot of angry gelato lovers pointed out was not real gelato) and now, here I am – almost two years later – finally sharing the recipe with you. It was a long time comin’, folks.

A moment of truth: up until the first time we made this ravioli, I had never actually had ravioli that didn’t come from a can labeled CHEF BOYARDEE. Had my Oma been a Nonna, that probably would not have been the case. But since my family’s German, pasta night came in the form of a cellophane bag and ravioli always got served out of an aluminum can. And I liked it.

The inspiration for this recipe actually had less to do with the fact that we were going to Italy and more to do with the fact that Thom came home one day, out of the blue, with a clunky ass pasta machine in tow. I may have kindly suggested that he return it because WE DON’T HAVE ANYMORE ROOM FOR SINGLE-USE KITCHEN DEVICES, DAMNIT. So he did. And while he was off getting our money back, this recipe was born out of my determination to prove to him that we could make homemade pasta with a rolling pin and a little elbow grease. But this is where I’ve got to continue the moment of truth because I’d be lying if I didn’t tell you that ravioli is a real pain in the ass to make. With the help of a couple of trusty tools, however, the process is made exponentially more tolerable than what it would be without ’em. You’re going to need a 1 3/4″ ravioli stamp (I highly recommend the ejector kind) and a 1 1/2 teaspoon cookie scoop (because it holds just the right amount of filling for the tiny ravioli). And although you’re probably thinking otherwise, I promise it makes the entire process far less arduous than what it is trying to free-hand the ravioli or fill ’em with a regular spoon. Trust me, I know.

Also, before we wrap this up: I made an appearance on Jessica Murnane‘s One Part Podcast (!) (!!!) earlier this week and it’s gonna go live tomorrow. I don’t want to give too much away, but if you tune in you’ll get to put a voice to the crazy person behind this space and you’ll play witness to the fact that my brain doesn’t work before I’ve had a big cup coffee. Which – another moment of truth – I avoided because I was terrified that I’d have to take a restroom break in the middle of the podcast and how embarrassing would it have been to be like HEY JESS CAN YOU HOLD A SEC I’VE GOTTA TAKE A LEAK?

Garlic roasted broccoliBlendin'Rollin'Broccoli + sunflower seed ravioliBroccoli + sunflower seed ravioliBroccoli + sunflower seed ravioliSemolina pasta doughBroccoli + sunflower seed ravioliBroccoli + sunflower seed ravioliBroccoli + sunflower seed ravioliBroccoli + sunflower seed ravioli with cashew vodka sauceBroccoli + sunflower seed ravioli with cashew vodka sauceHomemade farfalleBroccoli + sunflower seed ravioliWaiting at the bus stop with our ravioliBroccoli + sunflower seed ravioli

Notes: The pasta recipe is a bit different than ones you’ll find on the internet. The biggest thing being that it’s made without eggs (like all recipes on this site) and uses 100% semolina flour instead of all purpose. However, feel free to use all purpose flour or a combination of the two. If using all purpose, you’ll only need 2/3 cup of water and, if doing a combination of the two, you’ll need about 3/4 a cup. Semolina makes a heartier pasta, which is what I prefer when eating ravioli. (You can also use 00 flour but I have zero experience with that.) (SEE WHAT I DID THERE.) You can replace the broccoli with any vegetable you’d like; spinach, squash, cauliflower, etc. If going that route, I’d use about 2 cups worth of cooked/roasted vegetables. If you’re not a fan of vodka sauce, you can replace the vodka with non-dairy milk. Or you can use your favorite marinara sauce – although I promise you the creaminess from the cashews kinda makes this dish. And in the event you’re taking it to an Italian dinner party for nine (like I did), this makes more than enough for everyone to have a decent-sized serving, so long as there’s other food on the side. Otherwise I’d say it feeds 4 Thom‘s or 6 Ashlae‘s.

OH! And although I didn’t get final shots of the dish (because DINNER PARTY), I did sneak a few ravioli and make a little appetizer, so you can see the innards here. Also, ravioli stamps aren’t just for ravioli, you know.


Cashew vodka sauce
4-5 cups basic, awesome pasta sauce (replace butter with coconut oil)
1/2 cup triple distilled vodka
1 cup raw cashews, soaked 4+ hours
Heavy pinch of fine sea salt

Broccoli-sunflower seed filling
2 small broccoli crowns, stemmed and broken into florets
2-3 garlic cloves, halved and sliced
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2-4 small leaves of kale
1/2 cup raw sunflower seeds, soaked 4+ hours
1/4 cup nutritional yeast
3/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
1/2 cup non-dairy milk

Semolina pasta
2 1/2 cups semolina flour, divided
1 cup warm water
1 teaspoon olive oil

Add the tomato sauce and vodka to a large saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a gentle simmer and cook for 20 minutes, until the sauce is slightly reduced and the alcohol is cooked off. Remove from heat and let cool for 10-15 minutes, then add the sauce, cashews, and sea salt to the base of a high speed blender, such as a Vitamix. Blend on high speed just until smooth then transfer to a jar (or two) and refrigerate until ready to use. The vodka sauce will keep in the refrigerator for up to one week.

Preheat oven to 425˚F. Toss the broccoli, garlic, and olive oil together in a small mixing bowl then spread evenly over a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake at 425˚F for 10-15 minutes, just until the garlic starts to brown. Remove from heat and set aside to cool for at least 10 minutes. Once cool, add the broccoli and garlic to the base of a high speed blender, along with the kale, strained sunflower seeds, nutritional yeast, sea salt, and non-dairy milk. Blend on high speed until smooth, scraping down the sides as needed. Transfer filling to a small jar and chill until ready to use. The filling will keep in the refrigerator for up to three days.

Prepare the pasta by adding 2 1/4 cups of the flour to a large mixing bowl (add a heavy pinch of salt if you’d like, although it’s not necessary). Create a well in the center and add the oil and water; mix with a wooden spoon (or your hands) until combined. If the dough feels too wet, mix in the remaining 1/4 cup of flour, 1 tablespoon at a time. The dough should still feel slightly damp. Divide the dough in half and knead each half for 2-3 minutes. Wrap in plastic and set aside to rest for 25-30 minutes.

Now would be the time to clean your kitchen and have a glass of wine. No, really.

Line a flat surface with parchment paper and sprinkle (generously) with semolina flour. Take one piece of dough and roll it out until it’s 1/8″ thick, making sure to liberally flour the dough while you work. Using your ravioli stamp, make light impressions on half the dough, leaving about 1/4″ between each impression. Using a 1 1/2 teaspoon cookie scoop, drop the filling in the middle of each impression, then carefully fold the other half of the dough over the filling. Gently pat the areas around the filling, then use a 1 3/4″ ravioli stamp to cut each piece of ravioli and move them to the side. Repeat this process with the second piece of dough. When you’re left with the scraps, wet your hands and knead them into one large ball and re-roll, making sure to liberally flour your work surface. Continue wetting your hands and rolling the scraps until you can’t make anymore ravioli. I got 60 pieces of ravioli and a single-serving of farfalle out of the dough.

Line a large baking sheet with a wire rack; set aside. In a large saucepan over medium heat, bring water and a heavy pinch of salt to a boil. Once boiling, add 1/3 of the ravioli and cook for 3-4 minutes, or until they’re floating on the surface. Spoon them out onto the prepared baking sheet and let dry for about one minute. Transfer to a large bowl and drizzle with a bit of olive oil (no more than 1 teaspoon) and gently toss to combine. Continue process with remaining ravioli. At this point you can either freeze the ravioli for later use or move on to the main dish.

Preheat oven to 350˚F. In a large baking dish, such as a dutch oven, spoon 1/2 cup of the cashew vodka sauce into the bottom of the dish and layer with ravioli. Continue layering until you’ve used at least 40 of the ravioli and end with a thin layer of sauce (don’t worry about covering all of the ravioli). Cover dish with a lid (or foil) and bake at 350˚F for 15-20 minutes. Top with chopped kale and sunflower seeds, if desired. Serve immediately. Will keep refrigerated for up to three days. Reheat in the oven as needed.

Yield: 55-60 1 3/4″ ravioli pieces


  • Reply Leonardo 22 April 2015 at 7:47 AM

    I think it feeds just 1 leo haha. This looks awesome, I’ll give it a try on the weekend!

  • Reply Joana 22 April 2015 at 8:04 AM

    This looks delicious!
    I love ravioli so I definitely need to try this recipe :)


  • Reply Kathryn 22 April 2015 at 8:23 AM

    Man, I used to love that ravioli from a can. Sometimes I feel a little sad that my conscience won’t let me eat it any more even though I know it’s for the best…But homemade ravioli is always going to beat the canned staff any day. I love this cashew-vodka sauce too. Inspired.

  • Reply Chrissy 22 April 2015 at 8:31 AM

    These little raviolis are so cute! Coming from a non-Italian family myself, we rarely ate ravioli, and when we did, it was frozen or (gasp!) canned as well. I was going to do something similar to your filling with some risotto tonight, and I’m glad you tested it out first so that I’m more confident mine will be a success (pumpkin seeds rather than sunflower though). Also glad to know if I wanted to attempt these, no pasta maker necessary. I have less than zero room for more appliances!

  • Reply Sara @ Cake Over Steak 22 April 2015 at 8:35 AM

    I can’t wait to hear you on that podcast! And I think now I really want to play with a ravioli stamp.

  • Reply Edlyn 22 April 2015 at 8:58 AM

    Your fiancé is realllly photo stylin in that second to last picture – if you know what I mean. What i mean is he was probably just standing there and you took a photo of him looking stylish! Shut up now, Edlyn. I am more intrigued by the sauce in this thing…cashew vodka = amazing. Us Indians use cashew paste to thicken our curries sometimes and it’s delicious. Love that you used a similar technique here. Of course, those ravioli babies look precious. It’s on the list of things to try even though I’m dreading the hand-rolling (I’ve done it before that’s why). It will be worth it, right?

  • Reply Lan | morestomach 22 April 2015 at 9:08 AM

    when cooking with wine, i was told to use the kind of wine you would likely drink, and not the cheap stuff. am i right in assuming the same thought process goes with vodka? my husband is a teetotaler and i’m not familiar enough with alcohol, but i have a bottle of belvedere vodka hanging out in the freezer — will that do?

    last, i’m thinking these can be frozen for later use, yes?

    • Reply Ashlae 23 April 2015 at 6:36 AM

      Hi Lan –

      I don’t necessarily find the same to be true about cooking with grain alcohol. However, I would never cook with Kamchatka.. but that has less to do with quality and more to do with the fact that I have some bad memories surrounding the stuff. ;)

      Bits about freezing are tucked into the recipe instructions! But yes. :)

  • Reply valentina | sweet kabocha 22 April 2015 at 9:13 AM

    A little advice for pasta – from a 100% italian gal – : add a pinch of turmeric powder for a brighter color and a pinch of salt ;) Any chance to find whole semolina flour in Usa, isn’t it??

    • Reply Ashlae 23 April 2015 at 6:32 AM

      Hi Valentina (I wanted so bad to say ‘Italian gal’) –

      I do have in the actual recipe instructions to add a pinch of salt to the pasta, if you’re into it. :) But turmeric?! Brilliant.

  • Reply Simone Anne 22 April 2015 at 9:46 AM

    Ashlae, these are absolutely beautiful! I cannot wait to make them. SO yummy and gorgeous looking.

  • Reply Clem @ The Vegan Cookie Fairy 22 April 2015 at 10:31 AM

    I just need to take a minute to tell you I LOVE YOU for creating and sharing this recipe! Defo trying this this weekend. And I won’t share the results with anyone, ahahaha.

  • Reply S Lauren | Modern Granola 22 April 2015 at 10:48 AM

    This looks heavenly! I would make a weekend out of this recipe! Can’t wait to try!

  • Reply Medha @ Whisk & Shout 22 April 2015 at 11:07 AM

    You have one of those blogs where I can reread a recipe six times and not get bored. This ravioli recipe looks like such a keeper and you’re inspiring me to start making my own pasta!

  • Reply Randle 22 April 2015 at 12:31 PM

    Ashlae, I saw these on your Instagram and they looked SO amazing! Thanks for posting. I’m obsessed with fresh pasta, and since becoming vegan, I haven’t made it all. This semolina dough gives me an alternative to the egg-based dough I used to use. :) :)

  • Reply Laura 22 April 2015 at 1:19 PM

    I loooooove seeing savouries over here! This sounds so comforting and just bang-on for this still chilly in-between season. So excited to listen to your podcast! (!!!!!!) That Jess Murnane is a stellar interviewer too. Also, discussions over “authentic” anything make me wanna punch somebody. Your gelato rules. xoxoxo

  • Reply Elizabeth Jarrard 22 April 2015 at 1:53 PM

    a ravioli stamp is a thing????? These were INCREDIBLE

  • Reply Erica 22 April 2015 at 1:56 PM

    This is the cutest ravioli I’ve ever seen, I want all of it! The colors in these photos is incredible too – I’m intrigued by that broccoli sunflower seed filling, it sounds so good right now.
    Beautiful, inspiring photos!

  • Reply Abby 22 April 2015 at 2:03 PM

    These photos are gorgeous, Ashlae! I love everything about this post. <3

  • Reply Valentina @Hortus 22 April 2015 at 2:30 PM

    Can’t believe this recipe. It is so incredibly awesome! This is probably the coolest vegan pasta I have ever seen. Those ravioli are a true beauty. So curious about that broccoli filling! Stuffed pasta tends to get a little repetitive here in Italy at times.

  • Reply Cady 22 April 2015 at 2:49 PM

    Wait- what the heezy I have actually never heard your voice! Can’t wait for the podcast!!

    There are so many good flavors going on in this situation. This seems like a good Saturday afternoon project to take on with my love, and take you up on the wine part- YES.

  • Reply Chelsea 22 April 2015 at 6:11 PM

    Whoaaa cashew vodka sauce?! And that pasta sounds interesting! I’ll need to try it out once I get my hands on some semolina!

  • Reply Chelsea @ Chelsea's Healthy Kitchen 22 April 2015 at 7:13 PM

    Haha I bought a pasta machine two years ago and it’s still in storage – I just don’t have the room for it in my kitchen! Unfortunately that means I haven’t made homemade pasta at all. Although I think it’s probably a case of laziness, not the lack of a pasta machine. Your recipe looks beautiful though and it might just be the inspiration I needed to whip up a batch of fresh pasta!

  • Reply genevieve @ gratitude & greens 22 April 2015 at 7:21 PM

    Okay, how have I never thought of using a little cookie scoop to fill ravioli? That is genius! And I’m not going to lie, I may or may not have did the Thom thing… the first gift I ever gave my boyfriend was a pasta maker and I’m happy to say that it has been used more than just a few times, PHEW!! And this cashew vodka sauce sounds like the bomb diggity, definitely my next pasta sauce mission!

  • Reply Helen 22 April 2015 at 11:28 PM

    That looks soooo good! I’ve never tried making pasta myself, but I’m definitely going for these raviolis sometime soon <3
    Liebe Grüße aus Deutschland :)

  • Reply Ellie 23 April 2015 at 4:30 AM

    These are not a bunch of ingredients that would jump to mind as going together yet the recipe looks awesome. I’m impressed.

  • Reply Maria Loghin 23 April 2015 at 6:24 AM

    Great recipe! What’s it like to cook with vodka? How does it affect the flavour? Fantastic blog btw, would love to connect. :)

    • Reply Ashlae 23 April 2015 at 6:29 AM

      Hi Maria –

      I’ve found that cooking vodka with tomato sauce adds a bit of depth and complexity to what would otherwise be a simple sauce that requires a bit of spicing. It’s always been my preferred method of making pasta sauce, for that reason alone.

      Feel free to shoot me a message through my contact form! :)

  • Reply Jennifer 23 April 2015 at 6:28 AM

    Whoa you blew my mind that people would think of canned raviolis as raviolis… if that statement makes sense. XD I use to love canned pastas but they were kind-of their own thing if that makes sense? Maybes it is also because I grew up in a super Italian area (the whole state of New Jersey XD) so I use to eat it all growing up, fancy kinds, homemade, ones in the refrigerated section, the dried kind, frozen, etc.

  • Reply Ashley 23 April 2015 at 9:54 PM

    This looks and sounds OUTstanding. Also, I’ll take a scoop of your “fake” gelato anyday.

  • Reply Jen 24 April 2015 at 5:14 PM

    The pasta looks amazing, and when I have a spare two hours and find myself with a ravioli stamp, I know what to make.

    But let’s get to that misophonia. I have found my people! I had no idea this was a thing, a real thing I can actually defend. For years, I’ve cringed at the dinner table with family or with my poor partner, shooting death stares at every clang of the fork against someone’s tooth or crunch of chip. Why they gotta bite the fork?

    Listening to you and Jessica talk about your own issue with sound cracked me up, cause I’ve been there. It’s so comforting to know there’s other people out there who suffer from misophonia!

  • Reply Kayla 25 April 2015 at 9:12 AM

    I really enjoyed listening to the podcast! I laughed out loud at least 6 times. And that pasta looks amazing!

  • Reply Ana @ Ana's Rocket Ship 25 April 2015 at 3:41 PM

    I have always preferred the (veggie) ravioli in a can- I’ve never been a fan of the fresh ‘eggy’ pastas- so this broccoli version is so intriguing! I can’t wait to make it!

  • Reply Sonja 25 April 2015 at 4:29 PM

    You are a genius.

  • Reply Chelsea 25 April 2015 at 7:57 PM

    For the sake of time & simplicity, do you think this would work well as a lasagna roll instead of ravioli? Then just smother it with vodka sauce & bake? I’d love to add this to this week’s dinner menu, but I’m short on time most week nights (and, let’s face it-I’m a sucker for cute individual lasagna rolls).

    • Reply Ashlae 25 April 2015 at 10:20 PM

      Hi Chelsea –

      Absolutely! When I’m lazy I toss pasta with a bit of the filling then smother it all in vodka sauce. ;)

  • Reply The Yakama Yogini 28 April 2015 at 2:00 PM

    These are just plain gorgeous. Thank you so much for a wonderful recipe and amazing pics!!

  • Reply Crista 5 May 2015 at 6:38 PM

    I just listened to your podcast with Jessica – you two are great! You talked about these raviolis on the podcast! I’m super excited to have found your blog and I’m excited you’re in Denver – me too! I’m off to read some of your posts :) xox

  • Reply Eliza 6 May 2015 at 8:35 PM

    What a far cry this is from Chef Boyardee. Thank you for sharing this amazing recipe!

  • Reply Roy Hansen 6 May 2015 at 10:03 PM

    This is going on our meal list this week, it’s my turn to cook and unlike my wife who likes to turn to tried and trusted recipes from family members long since passed, I take my interests to the internet, and you never let me down!

  • Reply Sarah | Well and Full 13 May 2015 at 8:41 PM

    Ashlae… these. photos. Zomg. At the risk of sounding mega creepy, I’ve saved a few of them on my phone so I can just look at the vegan, vodka-infused ravioli goodness throughout my day – it’s a pick me up every time!! I’m saving a nice, free Saturday where I can hole myself up in my kitchen and make these :)

  • Reply Rebecca 21 May 2015 at 4:11 PM

    Made this last night, absolutely delicious!
    I don’t have a ravioli stamp, so I folded up some tortellini from rough squares. My pasta was a tiny bit weird – went almost translucent when boiled – but (omni)hubby and I loved them. I’m turning him with your food.

  • Reply Lacey 15 February 2016 at 3:04 AM

    My boyfriend and I tackled this recipe last night for valentine’s day and it turned out great! It was a fun way to spend an evening together and the result was definitely worth the extra effort :) thanks for the recipe!

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