The majority of southern Italian pastas are water-based and therefore vegan, as is most dried pasta you can buy in supermarkets, so there are already countless vegan pastas to choose from. However the pasta used to make filled pasta is generally made using eggs, which produces a silky, tender pasta, which is really well suited to being filled.
I’ve added a little olive oil to this dough, as the fat tenderizes the dough, just as the egg yolks do. This is ideal for filled shapes (like my vegan papa al pomodoro ravioli pictured below) but can also be used for making shapes like farfalle, tagliatelle, or these cute little sorpresine, pictured above (it means “surprises” because they appear to be filled pasta at first glance, so the surprise is that they’re empty! They’re a fantastic shape for catching sauce though.)
If you’re looking for a vegan sauce to accompany this pasta, I’d suggest this sundried tomato and walnut pesto.
Vegan pasta dough
- 180g “00” flour
- 50g fine semolina, plus extra for dusting
- Pinch table salt
- 1 tsp extra virgin olive oil
- 90ml water
- To make the dough, mix the flour, semolina and salt together in a bowl and whisk to combine, then use a fork (or a dough hook in a mixer if not making it by hand) to mix in the oil and water, bringing it together to a shaggy dough. Use your hands now to knead the dough really vigorously for about 5 minutes, until it’s really smooth and firm to the touch – it should be quite stiff, not at all sticky. Depending on the humidity and your ingredients, you may need to add a touch more flour or water to achieve this consistency, but do so in very small increments, as it’s easy to over-correct.
- Wrap it in cling film, or simply up-end the bowl you used to mix it over the top of it to cover it, and let it rest on the side at room temperature for about 1 hour.
- Roll out the pasta dough using either a pasta machine, or a rolling pin, to a thickness of 1 mm – use plenty of semolina to dust the surface of the dough, and also the work surface, to avoid sticking.
- Either cut the dough into ribbons for tagliatelle/pappardelle, or squares to make farfalle or sorpresine. You can re-roll your trimmings (as long as you keep them wrapped in cling film to avoid them drying out) so there shouldn’t be any waste.
- Set the finished shapes onto a tray dusted with semolina, then leave to dry for about 30 minutes. This helps them to hold their shape as they cook.
- Bring a large pan of salted water to the boil and add the pasta, cooking just for a few minutes, as they will become al dente very quickly.
- Carefully lift them out of the water when done, and dress with whichever sauce you wish.