Chocolate Pasta with Light Cream Sauce and Chiles

IMG_9219.JPG

Chocolate pasta. Cream sauce. Chile peppers. Sound Good? What if I told you this fabulous meal would set you back a mere 350 calories and a half hour in the kitchen?

A few weeks ago I spent some time wandering around Boston, where I stumbled upon Hotel Chocolat. As the name would imply, this adorable little shop sold delicious (and very expensive) chocolates. I almost made it out empty-handed. Almost. As I was on my way out, I caught something out of the corner of my eye: cocoa pasta. At first I thought it was just chocolate in the shape of pasta, but then I realized it was actually pasta that contained cocoa powder. There was obviously no way I was leaving without some of that!

I almost immediately decided that I wanted to pair the pasta with a cream sauce. If you’re cooking chocolate pasta you go big or go home, right? I was afraid of it being too rich though, so I used a lightened-up version of cream sauce. I added some chile peppers to the sauce for good measure and to help cut through the richness, then tossed it all together with some zucchini ribbons and grilled chicken. The final dish as every bit as delicious as it sounds and is definitely worthy of being on a menu somewhere.

IMG_9200.JPG IMG_9198.JPG
 

The flavor of the pasta itself was really interesting. There isn’t any sugar in it, so it isn’t sweet like you might expect it to be — it’s just normal semolina pasta with added cocoa powder. Once it’s cooked it has an intense chocolate aroma, but the flavor isn’t overpowering at all. It’s subtle yet complex, like a good mole sauce might be. The dried pasta can be purchased through the link above, but google also returns a few recipes if you want to make the pasta yourself (this one looks simple enough — avoid any dessert pastas that call for sugar).

Because I replaced much of the cream in the sauce with skim milk, it takes a little longer than normal to thicken. Be patient though — it will get there! The sauce is done when it’s thick enough to coat the back of a spoon and hold a line drawn across it with your finger.

IMG_9207.JPG
IMG_9221.JPG
 
Chocolate Pasta with Light Cream Sauce and Chiles
The chocolatey aroma of this pasta is intense without being overpowering, and pairs perfectly with the light cream sauce and the heat of the red chile peppers. The chicken can be easily omitted for a vegetarian meal, but I enjoyed the additional flavor and texture that it contributed to the dish. The heat from the chiles will mellow as the cook in the sauce. If you prefer a more intense heat, reserve some uncooked chiles to stir in at the end.
  • 1 tsp butter
  • 1/2 small onion, chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 2 chile peppers1 tsp flour
  • 1 cup white wine
  • 3/4 cup skim milk
  • 1/3 cup cream
  • 1/4 tsp arrowroot powder or cornstarch
  • generous pinch salt
  • 1 package cocoa pasta
  • 1 small zucchini, cut into ribbons with a vegetable peeler
  • 1 skinless chicken breast
  • 1 tsp Emeril’s Poultry Rub, or your seasoning of choice

Melt the butter in the bottom of a small saucepan. Add the onion, garlic, and chiles and cook until softened. Add the flour and cook for 1 minute. Slowly whisk in the wine, milk, and cream. Heat until just below boiling, then reduce heat slightly and let simmer for 10 minutes. Whisk in the arrowroot and season with salt. Continue to simmer for another 10 minutes, or until the sauce is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon and hold a line drawn across it.

White the sauce cooks, bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add the pasta and simmer for 8 minutes. Add the zucchini ribbons and cook for 1 minute. Drain.

Season the chicken breast and grill until done. Let rest for 5 minutes, then cut into cubes.

Combine the pasta, zucchini, chicken, sauce, and ay reserved chile peppers.

Serves 4.
Approx. 350 calories, 9.5 grams fat, 1.5 grams fiber, 18 grams protein

 

 

 

By on April 19th, 2010

About Lauren

Hi, I'm Lauren! I'm a certified plant-based cook and enthusiastic omnivore who loves looking for creative ways to make weeknight meals more nutritious. I'm the author of Heathy Eating One Pot Cookbook and Healthy Meal Prep Slow Cooker Cookbook.

More posts by this author.

37 thoughts on “Chocolate Pasta with Light Cream Sauce and Chiles”

  1. I have seen chocolate pasta in Switzerland but did not dare to try yet. Thought the idea is a little weird, now having you said the chocolatey is not overpowered, maybe I should try some time. We have chocolate ravioli here too.

    Reply
  2. Wow! This looks incredible! I’m definitely putting Hotel Chocolat on my list of places to visit on my next trip to Boston. Can’t wait!

    Reply
    • Be careful – the place is dangerous! 😉 I ended up buying chocolates too – top notch. Very smooth and creamy, but full flavored. Pricey though.

      Reply
  3. oh wow cool pasta kind of like when I made choc espresso bread not sweet your so cool how you find these ingredients

    Reply
    • Yeah, I was a little nervous that it would be super sweet, but it as really just the aroma which was awesome. I like to keep an eye out for fun ingredients everywhere I go!

      Reply
  4. You’ve sold me! I’m very curious to try this if I can get my hands on that pasta. I wonder could I get it from Whole Foods or does it have to be a special order?
    Will be saving this recipe and giving it a go. Lovely post. =)

    Reply
    • You might be able to find it there… we unfortunately don’t have a WF here. You can order through the link above, or make it at home. I linked to one recipe and there’s another in the comments. Just stay away from any that have sugar, since those are dessert pastas and will be too sweet

      Reply
  5. wow! it sounded really interested and it looks gorgeous. I love the idea of the light cream sauce! and the zuke ribbons sound like a perfect pair!

    Reply

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.