For dinner, I serve chocolate in the main course! Dark chocolate is terrific with meat, especially pork. Cooking with the sweet adds a rich deep flavor to food, just like wine does. But, I only use Italian chocolate – Italy is strict about their ingredients and by law, their chocolate cannot have anything but pure coco butter in it.
To add some chocolate to your pasta dish, melt a square or two in meat sauce or add some to pasta that’s been tossed with butter, sage and Parmesan cheese. Here’s a great recipe (pictured above):
-Courtesy of G.B. Martelli, Venchi Chocolates
This dish always gets a “Wow” from anyone who tries it. The Chocaviar glistens on the pasta and doesn’t melt until its twirled onto the fork, then it releases lovely mahogany colors.
Makes 6 Servings
1 pound spaghetti or fettuccine
8 tablespoons butter, 1 stick
20 fresh sage leaves, plus more as garnish or 1 tablespoon dry sage
1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
Venchi Chocaviar or bittersweet chocolate, coarsely grated
1. Prepare the pasta according to package directions.
2. Meanwhile, melt the butter in a saucepan over medium heat and about 8 minutes until the butter is golden brown. Toss in the sage.
3. Toss the pasta with the sage-shallot butter and about a 1/4 cup of the pasta’s cooking water.
4. Serve topped with the Parmesan cheese and a generous sprinkling of Chocaviar or grated chocolate. Garnish with small sage leaves.
Why, chocolate, of course! I make adorable panettone chocolate ice cream cake. Just scoop out the center of a store-bought Italian panettone and fill with chocolate ice cream. Pop it into the freezer for a few minutes, then slice and enjoy.
Francine Segan is food editor at BettyConfidential.