Vegan Cheese & Basil Tortellini

5 from 2 reviews

Gluten-free tortellini filled with fermented cashew cheese and basil, served in a lightly spiced tomato white wine sauce.



Vegan cheese

  • 1 cup raw cashews, soaked overnight
  • 34 tbsp filtered water
  • 2 capsules vegan probiotics (I used acidophilus)
  • a pinch of salt
  • 1 clove of garlic, peeled and finely chopped
  • 1 small shallot, finely minced
  • 56 leaves fresh basic, finely chopped

Pasta dough

  • 3/4 cup rice flour
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • 2 tsp xanthan gum
  • 2-oz silken tofu (about 1/4 cup)
  • 3 tbsp water
  • 1/4 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tbsp olive oil

White wine sauce

  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 4 shallots, chopped
  • 2 clove garlic, peeled and finely chopped
  • 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 cup white wine
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 tsp tomato paste
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp cornstarch


Vegan cheese

  1. Drain and rinse the soaked cashews and add them to the bowl of a food processor with 3 tablespoons filtered water and a pinch of salt.
  2. Process for about 5 minutes until really smooth. Open the probiotic capsules and add the powder to the bowl, process for another 2 minutes. You want a smooth but thick consistency.
  3. Transfer to a clean bowl, cover with a kitchen towel and place in a warm place for 24 hours. The cheese should have a tangy smell, like fresh cheese. (Depending on the temperature of your house it might take up to two days to ferment, if it doesn’t smell anything after one day let it ferment for another day.)
  4. Mix the cashew cheese with the chopped garlic, shallot and fresh basil. Add salt and pepper to taste and place in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours. The cheese will keep for about one week in the refrigerator.

Pasta dough

  1. Add all the pasta dough ingredients to the bowl of a food processor and process until the dough begins to pull away from the sides of the bowl. If needed, add one teaspoon water of a time until the dough is soft but not too sticky.
  2. You can use the dough right away with no problem. If you are making the dough in advance, wrap it in plastic film and keep in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
  3. On a very well floured surface (you can also use a silpat), roll out the dough very thinly using a pastry roller. I recommend you don’t skimp on the flour when rolling or you dough will stick to the surface and break.
  4. Using a glass, or a cookie cutter, cut 3 or 4 inch rounds, depending on how big you want the tortellini. Place about 1/4 tsp of the cashew cheese mixture in the center of each round. When working on one round, I recommend you keep the remaining dough rounds covered with plastic film, the dough dries out very quickly and won’t be easy to work with if it’s too dry, it might actually break, you don’t want that.
  5. Using a wet finger, lightly brush the bottom half of the round and fold over to seal and form a half moon. Lightly wet the two corners and draw them together to form a rounded shape.
  6. Repeat with the remaining rounds.
  7. Cook the tortellinis in salted boiling water for about 4 minutes. Drain, coat with the sauce, top with vegan parmesan, fresh basil leaves and/or toasted pine nuts. 5-6 tortellinis per person is great for a starter.

White wine sauce

  1. Heat the olive oil over medium heat in a medium size pan.
  2. Add the chopped shallots, garlic and red pepper flakes and sautée for about 5 minutes, until soft.
  3. Deglaze the pan with the white wine. Add the water, tomato paste and salt. Bring to a boil and simmer for 5 minutes.
  4. In a small glass, mix the cornstarch with 1 tablespoon water. Add the cornstarch water to the pan and whisk until the sauce thickens, it should only take a few seconds. Remove from heat and keep covered.


Pasta dough recipe adapted from Rouxbe.

This recipe yields about 20 medium size tortellini or 25 small ones.

If not gluten-free, replace the rice flour, cornstarch and xanthan gum with 1 cup all-purpose flour or 00 flour.