Monday, November 26, 2012

Award-Winning, Chocolate Pasta ~ Pasta di Cacao


You don't have to speak Italian to live your life in Italian!

1st Place winner in the "Instructables Pasta Contest."



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When I was in Tuscany this past summer for the DaVinci Storyteller Experience, I saw Pasta di Cacao (Chocolate Pasta) everywhere!  The United States is just catching on to this craze, but it is SO very expensive to buy in the specialty shops. Would you believe an 8 ounce bag of chocolate pasta is almost ten dollars! Yes!  I kid you not!!   But, guess, what?? It is so easy to make, and the best part... it cost just a fraction of that luxury price!  Yes sirrreee!!

This savory chocolate pasta, I was told by a chef in Montalcino, Tuscany, is best served with a cream sauce..preferable an alfredo-type sauce, with extra Pecorino Romano for topping. I know that it is instinctual to think of a sweet preparation with a chocolate pasta, but trust me, a savory dish with a creamy, cheese sauce works just beautifully! In fact, cheese and chocolate is paired together quite harmoniously in Italy.


  This sinful, chocolate pasta is off-the-charts yummy!!!  I hope you make this dish and impress all your guests!! It makes a great gift, too, and just in time for the holiday season! A gift basket with dried, chocolate pasta, a wedge of Pecorino Romano from Italy, and a bottle of DaVinci Chianti Riserva would be the perfect gift! I know I would absolutely love it! Cheers!




Savory chocolate pasta! Let's get rollin'!



Just a few ingredients and the magic happens!




INGREDIENTS:

2 1/4 cups of “00” flour (fine ground for pizza and pastas)
3/4 cup of unsweetened cocoa powder
3 large eggs


SPECIAL EQUIPMENT: 

Pasta Roller, or Kitchen Aid Stand Mixer with Pasta Roller Attachment  ( I used a hand roller)


PREPARATION:

1.) On a clean work surface, thoroughly combine the flour and the cocoa powder, and make a well in the middle for the eggs

2.) Crack the eggs into the middle of the flour well and beat with a fork, gradually pulling in some of the flour from the walls of the well to form a sticky dough. Continue in this fashion until all the dough is incorporated.

3.) Knead the dough into a ball.  If dough is too dry, add a about a tablespoon of water. If dough is too moist, add a little flour.

4.) Wrap dough in plastic wrap and allow to sit at room temperature for one hour

5.) After one hour, dough will be pliable enough to roll. With a knife, cut off about 1/5 portion of the dough and roll out to about 1/4 in thin with a rolling pin.

6.) Once the dough is 1/4 inch thin, feed it through a pasta machine using the largest setting. Repeat a couple times on this setting until the dough is smooth and elastic. Repeat this step a few more times, but gradually decreasing the size setting each time, until the dough is desired thinness.

7.) Once your pasta sheets are rolled out to desired thinness, use your favorite pasta machine attachment to make your favorite pasta size.  I used the fettuccini setting.

8.) Once all your pasta is rolled and cut to your favorite shapes, or sizes, you may freeze or cook right away. Remember, fresh pasta cooks up very quickly (in a just a couple minutes, so keep an eye on it!)


  YIELD: 18 ounces of pasta




*Remember, this is a savory pasta, not sweet!  Toss the chocolate pasta with a cheesy alfredo-type sauce for a luxurious dish.

Cioccolato con Pecorino!! That's how Italians roll!



Chocolate and Pecorino Romano in the San Lorenzo Mercato Centrale, Florence, Italy



Be adventurous! Try something Italian today!


   

5 comments:

  1. Wow! I love the colour of that pasta! I had dessert lasagna once with chocolate pasta sheets, this post makes me want to try something else with other kinds of chocolate pasta!

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    1. Hi, Cerealjoe!

      Thanks for stopping by! I know! You're right! Most people would think dessert, but it wasn't until I was in Tuscany this past summer that I learned about the savory chocolate preparations. And if you think about it, Mexican mole is a savory chocolate dish, too, so it's not uncommon. This pasta had a hint of cacao that went just beautifully with the cheese. I love it!

      Let me know what you think when you do try it with cheese!!

      Thanks again for stopping by! Come back soon!!

      -Cath

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  2. I am sooo making this Cathi! You kill me with deliciousness!

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    Replies
    1. Thank you, Mamma!! Thanks for stopping by and dropping a note!

      -CAth xxoo

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