During my recent stay at the Chocohotel in Perugia, I spent quite a while in their fabulously well-stocked Chocostore, picking out numerous items to review for this site. This is the only item I came back with that had the Chocohotel brand name, and fittingly enough it’s another unusual find – chocolate pasta!
The chocolate tagliatelle travelled with me for a fortnight, wrapped in swaddling clothes (well, a couple of old t-shirts) so as to avoid it disintegrating in transit.
Upon my arrival home, my various purchases were ooh-ed and ahh-ed (and drool-ed) over save this one, which was greeted with more of an “Eh?”
I must admit to never having heard of chocolate pasta before, and so I found myself looking for suitable recipes on the internet. (There was one printed on the packet, but Italian is not my strongest language).
Cooking the pasta was simple. Eight minutes in boiling water, but do you add olive oil? Given a 2% cocoa content, I thought it best not to.
I’d found a couple of recipes on line and had plumped for a raspberry coulis and cream combo, since raspberries are in season at the moment and are easy to get hold of. So, while the pasta bubbled away in the water I set to work blending and warming the raspberries. I decided against over-sweetening the coulis, leaving the natural tartness of the raspberries to be softened by the addition of whipped cream.
The pasta turned a satisfyingly reddish brown colour when cooked, and certainly gave off a hint of cocoa as it was drained. I threw the coulis in on top and gave it a thorough stirring to coat the pasta, hoping to avoid any unnecessary clumping.
The next question was – does one eat this stuff hot or cold? I had to leave it to cool a little before spooning on the cream and grating the chocolate, but should it be eaten straight away or left in the fridge for a while? Only one thing for it – do both.
As you can see, I went all cheffy and served it up in martini glasses, two of which went into the fridge to cool while we sampled the warm stuff. It was a little strange eating pasta for dessert, and the low chocolate content of the pasta meant that my tart raspberry coulis was the prevailing flavour, softened off by the cream somewhat, but still definitely top dog on the palate. The pasta had what could best be described as a very subtle flavour, and I immediately thought that I should have added sugar to the coulis and been a little more sparing with it.
It seemed to work better cold, by the way. The pasta wasn’t ‘free running’ as it has stuck together somewhat during the cooling process, but it made it easier to eat with a spoon!
I’d be interested to try this again sometime, as I thought my attempt wasn’t all that successful, but I would recommend having a go at this as an unusual dessert offering to dinner guests. No doubt chocolate pasta is available in the UK somewhere (I have yet to find a supplier online – can anyone help?) so perhaps next time I’ll follow a more traditional recipe (like the one on the packet!)