PARTNER POST — The holiday season is here and it is time to add some Italian flair to your menu with authentic ingredients from Colavita and Perugina’s rich Italian chocolate.
Beautiful savory chocolate pasta can be topped with three different sauces for a stunning presentation. Create unique Italian cookies filled with ricotta and chocolate.
Ever heard of chocolate pasta? It isn’t even sweet! Actually, adding cocoa to pasta is not an unusual practice in Italy where it can be eaten both savory or sweet. Cocoa adds a very subtle flavor in cooked pasta and a strikingly beautiful look, shiny and decadent, especially after you toss it with some good olive oil, like Colavita. The pasta smells strongly of chocolate during cooking, but the actual taste is mild. I think of it as more of a special meal because of how pretty it is, but there is nothing complicated about making it.
I’ve been serving it with different sauces – berries roasted with balsamic vinegar (raspberries or strawberries), pistachio pesto, and creamy Gorgonzola sauce. Each sauce creates a beautiful combination of colors and flavors, and can be eaten all mixed together.
Golden einkorn + moist farmers cheese + rich Perugina chocolate = the most fragrant and wonderful pastries and cookies. When I first combined these ingredients into a fun twisty flower design, I went ‘wow’ as soon as they came out of the oven, beautiful, puffy and each unique, I just wanted to stare at them. Coming up with a name was a challenge – muffins? Cupcakes? I settled on cookies because I use the same dough to make soft cookies but when they are twisted into a cup and filled with chocolate, they become moist like cupcakes.
Holidays are the time to enjoy delicious and beautiful food but it doesn’t mean having to go crazy with sugar and overly processed treats. These little guys are made with a good amount of soft cheese, Russian farmers cheese or Italian ricotta, which I love and use in a lot of my recipes; this love probably comes from my Russian upbringing – farmers cheese (tvorog) was used in all things imaginable to stretch flour and increase nutritional value of meals. It adds a lot of protein to baked goods without affecting texture. Einkorn is superior to any gluten flour, and even being the oldest cultivated form of wheat, it hasn’t been hybridized and has the same genetic makeup as it did thousands of years ago; it’s higher in protein and lower in starch than most other grains; it has the most wonderful, naturally sweeter, taste and beautiful yellow color.
This recipe is definitely more involved than other things I make so I reserve it for special occasions, when I can play around the kitchen with a glass of wine while my kids watch and help.
A mom cooking slow food in the fast world. I'm bringing back traditional recipes, and making new traditions.