ABOUT THIS RECIPE:
As with all recipes, the first and most important ingredient is Love! Planning should include a trip through the pantry, a visit to the greenmarket (or your own garden, should you be so fortunate), and a stop at the grocer (preferably, a locally-owned health food store) for anything you don’t have on hand.
Meal preparation should not be another source of stress! Feel free to experiment with what’s available now. The pesto recipe is large enough to have leftovers; you can freeze pesto in a jar with olive oil poured in a thin layer on top and enjoy a taste of July when it’s cold out, or share it with friends and family.
I like to take a serving of the complete dish back to the greenmarket, and share the finished product with those who grew my food; without them, I couldn’t live in the city. I use all organic ingredients, but realize they’re not available to all. Do your best.
Pattypan squash and Himalayan (or Celtic) salt for the pasta. For the pesto: 2 oz. pine nuts, alkaline water (to soak the nuts), 1 large bunch basil, 1 small bunch flat-leaf parsley, ½ to ¾ c. extra virgin olive oil, 2 large cloves (or 3 if they’re smaller) fresh garlic (use more if it isn’t so fresh), 6-8 pitted calamata olives, Himalayan salt, 2 T. nutritional yeast (optional, omit if you have candida overgrowth).
For the marinara: ½ – ¾ c. sundried tomatoes, alkaline water (to soak tomatoes), large handful cherry tomatoes (or 1 roma), 1 small red pepper, 1 sprig basil (from the above bunch), 1 clove fresh garlic. 1T. extra virgin olive oil, Himalayan salt. For the filling: 1 c. hazelnuts, alkaline water (for soaking the nuts), 1 large red pepper, nutritional yeast OR some strong Rejuvelac, Himalayan salt. For the Rawmano cheese (optional), 2 T. hulled sesame seeds, 2 T. nutritional yeast, Himalayan salt, 1 T. pine nuts (not soaked).
The night before, soak (in separate containers) the pine nuts and sundried tomatoes in alkaline water. If using Rejuvelac, soak the hazelnuts in Rejuvelac; if not, use alkaline water. Slice the unpeeled pattypan squash very thin on a mandoline. Keep small slices (both ends of the squash) in matched pairs. Salt squash slices (composting the 1st end slice and the top of the squash) and massage.
This squash is quite tender, so the salt massage is not as vigorous as you’d use to prepare kale or even spinach. I place a salted slice in the palm of my hand and squeeze gently with the other palm on top. For all the center slices, I use the ball of my thumb to squeeze the squash, avoiding the center (where the seeds are) to keep the slices from shredding (this makes holes in the middle of the pasta).
It takes longer, but it’s worth the effort. Massage over a strainer in a bowl, then place all the squash in 1 or two stacks, and give the whole stack a firm squeeze. Drink the collected squash water. Wrap the slices in plastic and refrigerate (if the weather’s very hot, chill the soaking nuts).
To make the filling: Seed and cut up the pepper, add to VitaMix. Drain and rinse hazelnuts. Add 1 T. (or more, to taste) nutritional yeast and ½ t. (or more) salt. Add nuts, cover VitaMix, and blend to thick, creamy pink paste. If the VitaMix starts getting too warm (we want to blend it, not cook it), chill the container before finishing blending. Adjust seasoning to taste. Chill.
To make the pesto: Drain and rinse pine nuts. Remember to remove a sprig of basil from the bunch for the marinara. Peel garlic. Remove large stems from basil, and bottom of stems from parsley, compost stems. Place in VitaMix enough oil to cover bottom of container, basil, salt, olives, garlic, nutritional yeast, and parsley, in that order. Place cover on VitaMix, start at low speed, adding remainder of oil. Use the auger to push top ingredients in, adding oil if necessary, and change the speed if you need to. Taste for seasoning (I sometimes add a little New Mexico chile powder if the garlic is too mild) and texture. Remove to glass (or plastic) container with a little room at the top, smooth, and add a very thin layer of oil before refrigerating.
To make the marinara: Remove sundried tomatoes from soak water (do not discard), and add to VitaMix. Add seeded, cut pepper, garlic clove, cherry tomatoes (or cut up plum tomato), basil, oil, salt, and 1 T. tomato soak water. Cover VitaMix, and blend, starting at low speed, increasing speed for a smooth consistency. If too thick, add more of the tomato water. When smooth, taste and adjust seasonings if necessary. Chill.
To make the Rawmano cheese: Use a clean spice mill (coffee grinder). Grind sesame seeds, salt, and nutritional yeast (omit yeast if you can’t eat it) for 15-20 seconds, pulsing switch. Add pine nuts and grind 3 seconds at a time. Be careful; you’re not making nut butter! Remove to container and refrigerate.
Assembly: Pair up the small slices of squash pasta. Place about ½ t. filling on half the slices, top each with another slice, press to seal. With all the larger slices, place ¾ to 2 t. filling on each slice (use more if it’s a big squash, less if it’s small), fold over, and run a finger along the edge to seal. Arrange artfully on serving plates (I like to make flower shapes or sunbursts). You can apply the sauces with squeeze bottles, pastry bags, or plastic zipper bags with a tiny corner cut out (stripes, squiggles, dots, or anything you like), or simply spoon a little of each sauce on top. Immediately before serving, top with Rawmano cheese.
Enjoy this party dish in great company (it may win over your stubborn relatives or vegetable-averse friends)!
Love, health, and peace,
Merideth (YOGABODY friend in NYC)
p.s. If you’ve got a great vegan recipe you’d like to share, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.