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I have recently bought, on a whim, a package of Cocoa Pasta ("barilotti al cacao"). Is it sweet? What sauce goes with it well?

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closed as off topic by hobodave May 6 '11 at 15:31

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Boil a piece in the microwave and taste it. – hobodave May 5 '11 at 22:16
"What sauce goes with it well?" Whipped cream? – Sobachatina May 6 '11 at 1:11
Could you add the brand and some listing of the ingredients; in particular, sugar content (to describe intended sweetness, especially if added), cacao/cocoa description (might explain the nature of the component as used), fats (might entail more chocolate bias). A description from the package (and pic?) might also go to some length to provide more insight into what you're asking and explaining why (assuming you are not just asking for a list of things that go with ingredient X). – mfg May 6 '11 at 14:46
Hi idober. Please take some time to familiarize yourself with our culinary uses guidelines. Your question in its current form does not meet any of the three criteria. Regarding your two questions, you can answer the first by simply tasting it. I daresay that would lead you to some ideas regarding sauces as well. If you can improve your question to fit within the acceptable guidelines of our site we can easily vote to reopen it. Thanks. – hobodave May 6 '11 at 15:34
@hobodave, I am a real noob in cooking, and even if I tasted the pasta I would not know what sauce goes with it, or how to find a recipe for it. In any case, I will get familiarized with the FAQ. Thank you for the detailed comment:) – idober May 6 '11 at 16:05

I have bough pasta that contained cocoa, here in Italy, and it was not that sweet.
The pasta package suggested to use red pepper in the sauce (e.g. olive oil and red pepper).

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Cocoa and pepper works surprisingly well together. – Sobachatina May 6 '11 at 1:11
I also found pasta that contained cocoa and red pepper, in Italy. In both the cases, the pasta was made from an artisan company, and the pasta was not always found in the store I usually buy food. – kiamlaluno May 6 '11 at 1:36

On the one hand we might be bumping up against a language barrier, as there are times where Cacao and Cocoa can be use interchangeably (99% of the time), and there are time where they cannot. I am curious if you could provide more details on the pasta, by way of detailed ingredients or maybe a description (if extant) of how the pasta is made. Some use cacao interchangeably, since cocoa is from cacao; but as cacao has other uses and forms that would be like saying I am eating a Bhut Jolokia Belladonna.

Cacao, in raw, pod form is not going to present the same characteristics of cocoa powder (i.e. try a smoothie with cacao and one with cocoa, they're quite different). Yes it is still bitter and earthy, but there is a brightness and the eathiness is more "green" (sort of like grassy, less of the "roasted" flavor). That said, this gap may be bridged depending on processing. Getting the cacao into a pasta form, I am inclined to assume that the cacao will need to be ground to varying degree. As a paste it would still bear the marks of cacao. Per a thread on cheftalk, I am inclined to guess that if it is ground further and past a powder, possibly powdered with butter etc, it would be more akin to cocoa (bitter and unsweetened presumably, though this would change with process).

  • If it has the earthier components, but not quite chocolate-y, from processing, I would encourage you to pursue light sauce and things pairing with asparagus or that otherwise border on "grassy" when over cooked. Typically a good counterpoint for cacao smoothies is banana (I mean, bananas are a Swiss Army knife in smoothies, anyway) as opposed to berries. You might consider plaintains and aleppo in some form. Or to push in a different direction I am inclined to think milder shellfish would bear well.
  • You can just google results for chocolate-y pasta if it is just basically chocolate pasta.

As a tangent: Some people ascribe health and nutrient benefits to so-called "raw" cacao, if this is up your alley you would likely want to avoid high heat cooking/preparation. That said, after preserving and sitting, it's likely that the benefits are moot.

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Cacao is the Italian word for cocoa; as the OP has written barilotti al cacao, he is surely writing that in Italian; the same phrase in Spanish would be different. – kiamlaluno May 6 '11 at 13:36
@Kiam I was so glad you were in this thread (re:ELU); as I mentioned I am interested in a bit more detail on the actual process to better understand what al cacao meant. Like I point to with the idea of a Habnero Nightshade, mix this with a dose of Americans' tendency to misappropriate others' language I would want to know more before necessarily assuming this is just a wide-open recipe request that can be googled – mfg May 6 '11 at 14:35

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