In a recent class we taught on Ayurveda for families, we made a “chocolate butter” (as in peanut or almond butter) demonstrating one of many examples of healthy snacks for children. With some of that chocolate butter remaining, Valentine’s Day approaching, and the inspiration of children still in my heart, I thought I’d get playful and try out the chocolate butter as a sauce for pasta.
Thus emerged this Chocolate Pasta, a delight both easy and quick to make. I think it took all of ten minutes.
The sauce is made with cacao, so has all the health benefits of dark chocolate. If you are making this for adults, use cacao nibs. It gives an accent of bitter that really works. But if you are making this for children, cacao powder will better integrate the flavors.
You could serve this as a side, or add your choice of protein and make it a one dish meal. I added fresh green peas as my protein, mixing them in at the very end so they would hold their fresh aliveness.
Once served, you can dress it up however you like. I added chives, but chopped spring onion would be great for that burst of pungency. I also like toasted or roasted sunflower seeds, but you could garnish with toasted pecans, walnuts, almonds, or pepitas. It needs that nutty bite. Best of all, I sprinkled cacao nibs over each serving. It ‘s more than a theme note, its gives the pasta a rich contrast in color, texture and taste.
I think it worked, but would love to know what you think.
2 quarts water
1 cube veg broth
1 T sesame oil
1 fistful soba noodles
1-2 cups seasonal greens, shredded
1/2 t ginger powder
1/4 t garlic powder
1/8 t red pepper (the slightly milder aleppo is my preference)
toasted or roasted sunflower seeds
chives or spring onions, chopped
red pepper flakes, optional
2 T Almond Butter
3 T raw cacao (powder or nibs)
1 small pear, cored and chopped
1 T Raw Honey (or 2 Medjool Dates)
pinch pink salt
Start with the chocolate sauce. Put all the ingredients together in an electric blender and mix until well integrated and smooth. If you are using cacao nibs rather than powder be sure to mix until the nibs break down, but don’t worry if some remain solid. It will give a nice texture to the sauce when added to the pasta.
Meanwhile, boil 2 quarts of water in a saucepan. Chop up your greens and set aside. When the water comes to a boil, add the cube of vegetable broth. Stir until it dissolves, then spoon in the sesame oil. Stir in the ginger and garlic powders and red pepper. Add the soba noodles and your greens. Cook for 4-5 minutes. Turn off the heat. Gently spoon in the chocolate sauce, stirring lightly so you don’t break the pasta. Season with tamari. Taste, and a pinch of pink salt, if needed.
Since there are at least six good reasons to celebrate with chocolate, for dessert we have many choices ~ there is this amazing Chocolate Pâté, this extraordinary Flourless Chocolate Cake, or this Chocolate Pudding, all to remind us to celebrate love not just today, but every day.
Happy Valentine’s Day!
Brad Willis 757 C Ave Coronado, CA 92118 619 435-5067
Thank you for this lovely recipe. I found my Sunday Dinner! I will be substituting sesame butter for the almond butter, since my grandson has a nut allergy. I’m looking forward to trying this!
Gina, I look forward to hearing if you like it. Please let us know if the sesame butter works. I wonder if you’d need to sweeten it up a bit, with a date, for instance. LMK. Love to you!
Laura, I completely see how this works – it is such a fun and creative dish! Anyone used to Mexican flavors or the famous mole dish where chocolate is incorporated into savory will “get” it. And the deep nutty flavor and crunch from nuts to finish look like a perfect way to round it out.
Thanks, Katie. I always wanted to try to make a Vegetarian mole. I suppose this came from a subterranean sense of that divine dish – only so much easier and quicker to make. Please let us know if you make it. I am sure your version would be enticing inspiring!
Yes, this is much quicker and I like that you added cinnamon to the sauce too. I may try it with cashew butter sometime, as my husband has recently developed a sensitivity to almonds! I make a quick mole sauce using leftovers from the Red Vegetable Posole’s ancho tomatillo sauce, and it’s relatively quick and really good. 😉
have you posted that on your fabulous blog, katie? i’d love to try that. thanks!
oh love love the chocolate buckwheat pasta…so original!
gluten and dairy free – easy to digest and so so good for you. thanks, marcia!
Yes, the ancho tomatillo sauce is on the blog, and in the headnotes for the sauce I mention how I turn it into a quick mole. Let me know if you try it!!
You are the best. Going over now to check that out. Thank you!
Wow this is unique! What a mix of flavours – it sounds delicious.
Thanks, Natalie. Let us know how you like it.