Cafe Flora's Spring Nettle Ravioli with Cashew Cream Sauce: No Cream, No Butter (Believe it!)

Cafe Flora Nettle Pasta.jpg
Cafe Flora
Yesterday, Cafe Flora Chef Janine told us the secrets of butter-less sauces. Today, she offers a recipe with a sinful tasting sauce, sans butter. Who knew there could be such a thing? "Those rich sauces with the cream, I love that. I've always loved, when I was saucier, to finish sauces with butter," admits Doran. But as more vegan diners turned up at the restaurant, Doran has had to pick up the tricks to mimic the textures and tastes she knows and love sans dairy. She offers Cafe Flora's nettle ravioli with a cashew cream sauce as a vegan dish you could make at home, but if you're not up to braving the stinging nettles, it is now available at Cafe Flora as part of their seasonal Spring menu.

Cafe Flora Spring Nettle Ravioli

4 servings

Nettle Ravioli

1 teaspoon Olive Oil

1/2 yellow onion

1/2 lb neetles (from Foraged and Found at the U-District farmers market, or put some gloves on and forage them yourself)

1 bunch kale (Lacinato preferred, but other varieties will work)

1/4 cup walnuts

1 teaspoon lemon zest

1 clove of garlic, minced

1/2 teaspoon of salt

8 fresh pasta sheets (depending on size)

3 teaspoons of egg replacer mixed with 4 tablespoons water

Fresh ground pepper to taste


1. Bring 4 quarts of water to a boil and blanch nettles for 30 seconds being careful that you don't touch them!

2. Refresh the nettles in ice cold water bath and then (now that their stinging power is gone) pick off the woody stems.

3. Toast walnuts in the over at 350 degrees for 5 minutes, watching closely so that they don't burn.

4. Place walnuts in a food processor and pulse 'til they are at a fine chop.

5. Dince onion into small pieces

6. Take the kale off the stem and dice.

7. In a large saute pan, heat olive oil, add onions and cook 'til they start to brown, then add the minced garlic until aromatic.

8. Add nettles, kale, lemon zest and cook for approximately 10 minutes.

9. Place filling in food processor and pulse 6-8 times.

10 Season to taste with salt and pepper, add walnuts and let cool.

11. On floured surface place a sheet of fresh pasta and cut into 4 equal pieces.

12. Place 1.5 tablespoons of filling in the center of one of the pieces.

13. Use a pastry brush and brush the edges of the ravioli with the egg replacer mixture.

14. Place another piece of pasta on top of the filling and run your finger along the edges to seal ravioli.

15. Repeat steps 9-12 until you have 16 large pieces of ravioli.

Cashew Cream Sauce

1 cup cashews

2 cups water

1 teaspoon salt

1 tablespoon lemon juice

1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

1. Soak cashews overnight in the room temperature water, making sure that the cashews are fully submerged. If you are short on time, you can soak them for a minimum of 4 hours. They will swell up and become soft.

2. Place soaked cashews and 3/4 cups of the cashew soaking water and the rest of the ingredients in a food processor. Blend on high until smooth and creamy looking. You may need to add a little more of the cashew water until you get a sauce like quality.

3. Place cashew sauce in a saucepan and heat on low until ready for use.

Petite Radish and Jerusalem Artichoke Salad

1 bunch radish (remove the greens)

1/2 lb Jerusalem Artichoke

1 ounce chives

1/2 cup dried cranberry

1 lemon, juiced and zested

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon pepper

1/2 teaspoon nutmeg

1 bunch micro greens (we like to use whatever is at the farmers market and looks fresh, some of our favorites are sunflower sprouts and micro arugula)


1. Thinly slice radish and Jerusalem artichoke on a mandolin or with a sharp knife.

2. Mince chives

3. In a small bowl, mix together all ingredients except for greens.

To serve:

1. Bring a large pasta pot full of water, 1 tablespoon olive oil and a 1/4 teaspoon of salt to a boil.

2. Place ravioli in boiling water for 3 minutes

3. Pull ravioli out and place four pieces on each of the plates

4. Cover with hot cashew cream sauce

5. Place 1/3 cup of radish and artichoke mixture in the center of the ravioli, top with 1 tablespoon of the greens

6. If you want, zest a little nutmeg over the plate.

7. Serve and enjoy!

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