More than ten years ago, I had a revelatory experience. At a wedding reception held at the Bronx Botanical Garden, the first course was a butternut squash ravioli that was completely dairy free. The succulently soft squash went perfectly with the fresh handmade pasta surrounding it. Before then, I thought that ravioli always had to be stuffed with cheese. Since then, I know differently, and I am always on the hunt for some good dairy free ravioli.
I renewed my search recently, and was surprised by how few quality raviolis I found. Some of the dairy free ravioli that are legendary, like the ones made by Trader Joe’s and Cafferata, have been discontinued. Others, like Toffuti’s Jumbo Cheese Ravioli, while ostensibly on the market, are hard to find. Some, like the ones made by Everybody Eats, are beyond my budget.
So that left two brands that I was able to find and purchase. The first, Soy Boy, have been around for a long time, for a couple decades at least, and in a pinch, they are a tolerable dairy free alternative. If paired with a good pasta sauce, they make a decent meal. By themselves, they are kind of bland, and the tofu filling has a crumbly texture that is not altogether pleasant.
The second brand I found brought back to me that experience at the Botanical Garden reception. Rising Moon Organics has a butternut squash ravioli that is mild and sweet and goes nicely with a little olive oil and some sauteed vegetables. It is not quite as flavorful as the ravioli I had at the wedding reception, but it is quite delicious nevertheless.
I was thrilled to discover that Rising Moon also carries a couple of other dairy free varieties of ravioli. For example, the same day I bought the squash ravioli, I bought a package of artichoke & olive ravioli with vegan soy cheese. I have yet to taste that one – you might say that I’m saving it for a special occasion.