Who knew homemade vegan, gluten-free pasta could be this easy or this effortlessly delicious!
I was aiming for ravioli when I started making this pasta dough, but being my first time making pasta (ever) I ended up making my pasta rounds a bit too large for ravioli.
I decided to make half-moon pasta instead and then discovered its already an Italian classic called Mezza Luna – which literally translates to ‘half moon’.
You can easily make the pasta ahead of time and store it in the fridge for up to 3 days, then boil fresh to serve. You can also store them in the freezer for up to 3 months.
Makes about 24 mezza luna, about 4 servings
Pasta Dough Ingredients:
- 6 tbsp white rice flour
- 6 tbsp brown rice flour
- ¾ tsp xanthan gum
- ¼ tsp salt
- ½ cup + 2 tbsp plant milk, warm (heat in a small pot on the stove till warm to the touch)
- ¾ tbsp extra virgin olive oil
Pasta Filling Ingredients:
- 1½ cups raw cashews, quick boiled (see step 1 below) + ½ cup water + pinch salt
- 2 jalapenos, seeded & finely diced
- ½ tsp salt
- 1 tsp black pepper
- 1 tsp avocado oil
Parsley Sauce Ingredients:
- 1 bottle strained tomato
- 1 cup Chardonnay
- 2 tbsp avocado oil
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tsp Italian herbs
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp black pepper
- ½ cup fresh parsley, chopped
1. Boil enough water to thoroughly soak the cashews. Place the cashews in a bowl, pour over boiling water, and let sit for 15-20 mins. Drain cashews, place in food processor, and combine with the water and salt until a smooth cheese forms. Transfer the cheese into a clean, large bowl and set aside.
2. For the rest of the filling, take a small frying pan and heat the avocado oil over medium heat. Add the diced jalapeno and saute, stirring once and a while, for about 5 minutes – until jalapeno is soft and blistered. Add the cooked jalapenos, salt, and pepper to the cashew cheese. Mix thoroughly and set in the fridge to cool.
3. I recommend using a stand mixer to make the pasta dough. If you don’t have one, use a wooden spoon and mimic the stand mixer motion and speed with your arm manual movements. Mix together the white rice flour, brown rice flour, xanthan gum, and salt at medium speed.
4. Slowly drizzle the oil into the flour mixture as the mixer actively mixes.
5. Slowly drizzle the warm milk into the flour mixture as the mixer actively mixes and a loose dough forms.
6. Turn the dough out onto a non-stick surface (NSF cutting boards are ideal for this – you can also use a silicon baking mat) and use your hands to knead together a smooth dough, about 2 minutes.
7. Cut your dough into 8 equal pieces. Roll each piece out as thin as you can manage – I got mine about 3 millimetres thin which is just under ⅛ inch. Use floured round molds/cutters to cut identical rounds – I chose the 3-inch diameter. You can also use a floured thin glass in place of the stainless cutter.
8. Fill each round with about 1 tbsp of the cashew cheese filling, fold in half, and use a small fork to seal the edges shut. Place on a plate or non-stick surface to set as you repeat with the other round cut outs.
9. Repeat steps 7 & 8 with the remaining pieces of dough.
10. Let your finished mezza luna sit for about 20 minutes to dry and set before cooking.
11. While your pasta sets, start your sauce. Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the minced garlic and fry for 1 or 2 minutes. Add the strained tomato and stir to combine. Pour the Chardonnay into the strained tomato bottle, shake to get all the leftover sauce, and pour into the saucepan.
12. Turn the heat up to high. Stir in the Italian herbs, salt, and pepper. Once the sauce starts to bubble, reduce heat to medium-low and let cook for 15 minutes.
13. While the sauce cooks, get a large pot of water boiling and add the mezza luna. Reduce heat to medium and let the pasta simmer for 4 or 5 minutes, or until all of the pasta are floating.
14. Strain the pasta and set aside.
15. To finish the sauce, stir in the fresh parsley. Turn off the heat and let the parsley wilt in the hot sauce.
16. To serve, distribute about 6 mezza luna per serving in a low-rimmed bowl. Top with hot sauce and serve immediately.
Pro tip: The mezza luna are quite delicate, so they are best boiled fresh. If you’re not going to eat them all, keep the uncooked mezza luna in the fridge and boil when ready to eat.