27-01-16_choc pasta_03
It has been considerable time since I last published for the ‘Aproned Angel’ section of my site but this one inspired me to share a new discovery (for me anyway!).

This discovery is cocoa pasta by Hotel Chocolat – made by Britain’s very own chocolate makers with so many differences in the global chocolate market. This company ethically grows their own cocoa in St Lucia and the minimum cocoa grade starts at 50% in all their products.

Having attended their School of Chocolate classes in Covent Garden, I can say their chocolate is like nothing else I’ve tasted (and I’ve had many glorious nibbles during my 6 years in Belgium!). The Hotel Chocolat staff are very knowledgeable and passionate too, so I believe much love flows through their business model before it passes our melting lips!

So besides loving their chocolate as part of my weekly dietary intake, I bought their cocoa pasta and chilli oil. I had some juicy organic green beans from M&S in the fridge, so figured these would be tasty with the pasta and came up with a Gorgonzola cheese sauce to bring them all together 🙂

It was AMAZING!!! The pasta connected all the flavours and after this first dish I wanted more… sadly, I made only this portion…

Cocoa pasta with creamy Gorgonzola sauce of green beans, onions and garlic, seasoned with crushed chillis and topped with spring onion slices

Cocoa pasta with creamy Gorgonzola sauce of green beans, onions and garlic, seasoned with crushed chillis and topped with spring onion slices

Cocoa close up!

Cocoa close up!

To make:

Prepare some Hotel Chocolat cocoa pasta (made ‘al dente’, and cooked with a little piece of vegetable stockcube in the water).

In a pan, cook some chopped onions and crushed  garlic, crumble in a little vegetable stockcube. Add 3-4 tablespoons of boiled water. Season with ground peppercorns.

Once the onions are soft, toss in the chopped green beans to warm them up. I like to keep them firm for serving, so 3-4 minutes should suffice.

Add some cream or milk (or a blend) – the measure is approx. 300 ml per person depending on desired portion size and thickness – and warm up but not boil.

Add crushed dried chillis to suit your taste. I love the Marks & Spencers smoked dried chilli and garlic that comes in its own mill for speedy use.

Turn down the heat and gently stir in the sliced Gorgonzola cheese until the sauce is smooth.

Keep everything very crisp and don’t over cook, i.e. 8 mins max!

Stir the drained cocoa pasta into the sauce and gently mix in so the sauce is peeping out of the penne tubes 🙂

Serve out the cooked pasta dish and top with diagonally sliced baby spring onions. Season with ground peppercorns.

Bon appétit!

Optional finishing touch: Pour a little chilli oil over the top of the pasta dish. The Hotel Chocolat chilli oil is very mild, so those who don’t like it ‘hot’ will love it. I love my chilli hot and my favourite chilli oil is by Congedi, which I source from a nomadic Italian farmers market.

Originally published: Thursday, January 28th, 2016 at 21:22 in Aproned Angel, Monologues

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