Chocolate Pasta with Balsamic and Raspberry Sauce

Back in I want to say sometime between 1999-2001 I lived for when my parents would let me stay up late so I could watch the original Japanese Iron Chef. The drama, the chefs being themed on nationality, my dear sweet Chairman Kaga, and that fortune teller judge. What a time to be alive.

Those late (to a six-year-old) nights were pretty much my crash course in getting wild and creative. I remember they made ice cream out of EVERYTHING, namely squid ink, which I didn’t even know was a thing you eat, but now I adore. But this story leads to one place. And that is my first ever love/hero, Masahiko Kobe aka “Iron Chef Italian.” This dude made ravioli with chocolate pasta dough.

My. World. Was. Rocked. I went borderline rabid asking how is that possible, and if my mom would make it for me. She looked like I grew two heads.

Fast forward about 10 years. I’m a junior in high school. My mom, brother and I took a trip to Asheville, North Carolina. We stopped in a fancy chocolate shop. And there it was…a bag of chocolate fettuccine. I immediately flashed back to my Iron Chef days and tried to do everything to get that bag to go home with me, to no avail.

But guess what, mom? I’m an adult now and can make my own damn chocolate pasta! (I’m sorry mom, I love you.)

The biggest challenge was figuring out what sauce to make with it. I thought creamy, I thought mascarpone, and then I thought nah. I decided I wanted something that felt fresh to go with it. So I landed on raspberries and mint for freshness, with a punch of balsamic vinegar for intrigue.

This dish creates a bright, fresh, fun feeling that will have you asking if you’re eating chocolate for dinner, or pasta for dessert. Either way I promise you never had one like this before.

Chocolate Pasta Dough:

  • 2 cups flour
  • 4 large whole eggs
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp olive oil

In either a large mixing bowl or on a flat work surface mix your dry ingredients and create a well in them. Crack your eggs into the well and add the olive oil. Beat the eggs in the well and slowly start to stir in the dry mixture. Do this until the mixture becomes homogenous, and then knead and turn until solidified. If you have a stand mixer feel free to use a dough hook to help you out. Cover the dough and let it rest 45 minutes to an hour.

This recipe gets 2 dishes worth, so feel free to save half your dough. I did. From here you can use a rolling pin (have a lot of space ready!) or bust out the pasta roller. These directions are for the roller. Cut the dough into smallish but not tiny balls. Smoosh them out with your hands to get them thin enough to put through the roller set to one, and have a floured surface with extra flour ready. Make sure your dough is well floured before running through the roller.

Put the dough through the lowest setting, fold into thirds, and then run it through again. Repeat this twice. This helps knead the dough and stretch the gluten.

After that run the dough sheets until your pasta hits the desired thickness, don’t go thinner than the next to last setting. Flour and set aside, repeat with the remaining dough balls.

If you’re hand cutting the noodles very loosely roll them and slice like cake rolls. If you aren’t hand cutting switch from a roller to a fettuccine cutter. Again make sure your noodles are dry and well-floured and run through the cutter. Twist into mini nests and set aside or freeze until ready to use.

Pasta and its sauce ingredients:

    12 oz raspberries
    1/4 cup fresh mint, chiffonaded plus more for garnish
    1/4 cup balsamic
    1 tbsp neutral oil
    Pinch sugar
    1/2 tsp salt
    Pure chocolate bar for grating

Get a pot of water with about half as much salt as you normally would for pasta. Cook the noodles for about 90 seconds. Make sure to reserve 1 cup of the cooking liquid.

Heat the oil over medium heat. Add the mint and saute until fragrant, about one minute. Add the raspberries and saute until they start to smoosh, about two to three minutes.

Add in the balsamic and cook to lightly reduce, about one to two minutes. Add any pasta water to the sauce necessary to thin it out and keep it from becoming jam. It might take a few different splashes to get perfect. Add the salt and pinch of sugar.

If you don’t want to have raspberry seeds in your sauce then you can run it through a sieve before eating. Otherwise do you! Finally toss the pasta into the sauce and top with more fresh mint and grated chocolate.

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