Inspired by some of the finest flavours of the Italian south, this vegan tortelloni recipe has a deliciously umami kick. Smoky aubergines - better known in Italy as “melanzane” - are blended with sun-dried tomatoes, basil and garlic, before being enveloped in fresh vegan pasta. Aubergines have been grown in Sicily since the 800s, having been introduced from South Central Asia, through the Middle East, to Europe. The most common aubergine dish in Sicily is pasta “alla Norma”. On the other side of the peninsula in Puglia, the sun-drenched earth, tempered by the cooling coastal breeze, renders the most exquisite tomatoes. These tomatoes are then left to dry naturally, until the flesh begins to desiccate, though retains some of its plumpness.
We amplify the piquant flavours of this filled pasta by tossing it in a glossy vegan caper sauce, making for an indulgent, deeply savoury plant-based dish.
Vegan aubergine and sun-dried tomato tortelloni recipe
Prep time: 120 minutes
Cook time: 10 minutes
Calories per serving: 512kcal
For the filling
- 2 aubergines, halved lengthwise
- ⅓ cup sun-dried tomatoes, minced
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- Handful fresh basil, finely chopped
- 50g breadcrumbs
- 2-3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- Salt & pepper to taste
For the vegan tortelloni dough
- 400g semolina flour or durum wheat flour, finely ground
- 200ml warm water
- Pinch of salt
For the caper sauce
- 80g dairy-free butter
- 20g capers
- Fresh parsley
Optional garnish - Vegan hard cheese alternative
To make the vegan tortelloni filling:
- Place the aubergine face up on a baking tray. Generously salt the flesh, and set to one side for 20 minutes. In the meantime, preheat your oven to 200 degrees (180 fan).
- In a frying pan, heat 2-3 tablespoons of olive oil. Add your minced garlic sauté gently until softened and golden in colour. Set this to one side, ensuring the garlic doesn’t continue to cook and burn.
- Pat your aubergines dry with a paper towel, before brushing lightly with olive oil. Flip the aubergines, so the cut side is facing down, and place on a parchment-lined baking tray. Cook for around 20 minutes, until the aubergines have softened and shrivelled slightly. Set aside to cool.
- Once cooled, scoop the flesh out of your aubergines, and place in a large mixing bowl. Once all the flesh is removed, add the minced sun-dried tomato, shredded basil, and breadcrumbs. Add the garlic and oil mixture, and mix until well combined. If the mixture seems a little dry, add more olive oil as necessary. Taste and season with salt and pepper. Be cautious with the salt here - the sun-dried tomatoes and caper sauce are both fairly salty in flavour, so you shouldn’t need much.
- Cover and place in the refrigerator for an hour or so, while you prepare your vegan dough.
To make the vegan tortelloni:
- To prepare your vegan pasta bianca dough, follow the steps in our guide to vegan pasta. Alternatively, follow chef Roberta’s recipe in the video below:
- Once your dough is prepared and has rested for 20 minutes, place on a floured surface, ready to form your tortelloni.
- To shape your pasta, simply follow our helpful video guide to making fresh tortelloni:
- Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add your formed tortelloni, and cook for around 3 minutes.
To make the caper sauce:
- While your water is boiling, add your vegan butter to a saucepan. Allow this to melt, before adding your capers and fresh parsley. Cook for around 3 minutes.
- Once your tortelloni is cooked, strain the pasta, and add to the caper sauce. Mix gently until the tortelloni is well coated in the sauce and serve, garnishing with extra fresh parsley, and vegan hard ‘cheese’, should you have it. Buon Appetito.
When making your own tortelloni from scratch, it is crucial to be equipped with the right tools. We offer a range of artisan-crafted pasta-making kits, designed to suit both intrepid pasta explorers and the greenest of pastai (pasta makers). We even offer a vegan pasta making kit, ideal for perfecting your vegan tortelloni, among other classic shapes, at home.
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