Friday, September 15, 2006

Chocolate Tagliatelle

September's theme for the Turkish food bloggers' event was pasta. After missing two of these blog events during our summer vacation, I really wanted to contribute to this one. A quick Internet search revealed myriads of sweet pasta recipes. Although dessert ravioli was definitely a more tempting choice, I decided on this recipe as its preparation --as well as its presentation-- made it a more authentic pasta dish. This gave me a great opportunity to use my pasta machine which has been gathering dust in one of the remote kitchen cabinets. I remembered how satisfying and easy it was to make fresh pasta (provided you have the right tools), and how it really did not take much time. Hopefully, I'll remember this the next time I reach for a package of store-bought pasta.

Coming back to the tagliatelle, we were not crazy about it. It was very lightly sweetened (although I did increase the sugar in the original recipe) and had a somewhat strong taste of cocoa. Don't skimp on the white chocolate sauce; in my opinion it is absolutely necessary to make this dish palatable. I may be a little harsh in my criticism as I am not a great fan of pasta to begin with; a real pasta lover may appreciate this more.

  • 2 eggs
  • 1 1/2 c flour (Bread flour was recommended, but I used all-purpose flour)
  • 2 tbs unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 3 tbs powdered sugar
  • 2 oz white chocolate, cut into small pieces
  • 2/3 c whipping cream
  • Fruit and/or ground pistachios to decorate
Beat the eggs in a large bowl. Sift the flour, cocoa powder and powdered sugar over the eggs. Mix with a fork and when the dough forms, gather it into a ball. If the dough is sticky, you can add more flour. Knead on a lightly floured surface for 5 to 10 minutes or until smooth. (I used my Kitchenaid for kneading.) Wrap in a damp towel and let rest for 30 minutes.

Roll the dough thin, by lifting and stretching as you do so. Spread it on a towel and let dry for another 30 minutes. Loosely roll up in a cylinder and cut into thin strips with a sharp knife. Spread over a towel and let rest for 20 minutes. (I happily skipped these steps by using my pasta machine for rolling and cutting the pasta.)

Bring a pot of water to a boil. Cook tagliatelle 3 to 4 minutes or until just tender. Drain well. To make the sauce, bring the whipping cream to a boil and turn off the heat. Add the cut pieces of chocolate and stir until they are melted and the sauce is smooth. Let rest a couple of minutes to thicken. Serve the tagliatelle with the sauce. (The tagliatelle looked good served atop the sauce, but tasted much better tossed with it and a liberal amount of ground pistachios.)

This recipe was adapted from A Gourmet's Guide to Chocolate by Lesley Mackley and Carole Handslip. It makes 4 to 6 servings.