Don’t assume chocolate has to mean dessert! This simple pasta dough (traditionally made in Umbria and Tuscany) is made with cocoa powder, giving it a hint of the rich, intense flavor of chocolate—without the sweetness. It’s subtle enough to add earthiness and complexity to the otherwise “blank canvas” taste of pasta. I like to pair it with a luscious white wine and cream sauce, and ingredients like mushrooms or sausage. —Posie (Harwood) Brien
For the pasta dough:
1 3/4 cups
cocoa powder, plus more for dusting
extra-virgin olive oil
Water, as needed
For the sauce:
mixed wild mushrooms
Splash of white wine
minced fresh rosemary
In This Recipe
To make the pasta: Whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, and salt.
Make a well in the middle of the dry ingredients and add the eggs and olive oil. Stir the wet ingredients in with a fork until it starts to come together, then turn it out onto a floured surface and switch to kneading with your hands.
Knead until the dough comes together—if it’s too dry, add water, one tablespoon at a time, until the dough is elastic and easy to knead (but not sticky).
Place the dough in a large bowl, cover, and let rest at room temperature for 30 minutes.
After resting, knead the dough a few more times, then roll it out and cut it into thin strips. You can either roll it out thinly by hand and cut with a sharp knife or pizza cutter, or use a pasta machine (or pasta attachment to a stand mixer).
As you slice the pasta, transfer it to a baking sheet and dust it lightly with cocoa powder to keep it from sticking.
To cook the pasta, bring a large pot of salted water to boil. Cook for about 2 minutes, until just shy of al dente. Drain the pasta, reserving 1/2 cup of the pasta cooking water, and set aside.
To make the sauce: Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the mushrooms with a pinch of salt and pepper and cook, stirring, until they star to turn golden on the edges. Add the cream, wine, rosemary, and reserved pasta cooking water, and cook, stirring constantly, until the sauce thickens slightly. Remove from the heat, add the cooked pasta to the skillet, and toss to combine.