Yeah, I know, it's a bit weird. Hotel Chocolat's cocoa penne. I was browsing in my local Hotel Chocolat (and schnaffling up the free samples) when I saw this and knew I had to try it.
It's pricey stuff, at £5 for 250g - but for a special occasion it's kind of cool. The taste of it, once cooked, is more like the flavour of hot chocolate I suppose rather than dark, proper chocolate, and although I'd been told on Twitter by @swcfood that it went well with tomato and chilli sauce, I decided to try something sweet with it.
The cocoa pasta is unsweetened, which is worth remembering because the whole dish here doesn't taste as sweet as you expect it to. The vanilla seeds in the mascarpone lend a musky sweetness, and coat the penne. The raspberries add a tartness to the whole thing, and then I finished off the pasta with a grating of a Parmesan equivalent: dark chocolate.
Cocoa pasta with vanilla mascarpone and raspberries
100g cocoa pasta
2 tablespoons mascarpone
the vanilla seeds from half a vanilla pod
dark chocolate, for grating over
- Cook the pasta in boiling water for about 10 minutes, until cooked.
- Meanwhile, combine the mascarpone and vanilla seeds in a bowl until the cheese is evenly freckled, and dump in the raspberries, whole.
- Drain the pasta and immediately toss it in the mascarpone mixture. Serve, with some more dark chocolate grated over the top.
Check back for more chocolate pasta adventures soon - I'll try something savoury with it next time...
Have you tried cocoa pasta? What do you think works best with it? What did you think of it?