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I want to experiment with making savory homemade pasta with cocoa powder. I think the earthy flavor and dark color will be striking.

I have been thinking about what kinds of flavors could be used for the sauce.

I considered how to get chili powder in there as I love those flavors together.

What flavors (or sauces) would pair well with chocolate in a savory pasta dish?

I did see this question: What Common Or Uncommon Flavors Pair Well With Chocolate?
It is more broad and does not answer my question.

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The latest issue of Food Network magazine contains a recipe for a savory chocolate pasta dish, however I do not have the magazine with me at the moment. –  Jacob G Feb 8 '12 at 22:21
    
I purchased chocolate pasta once. It came with a sauce recipe but tasted awful, so I won't bother reproducing their failure here. –  Yamikuronue Feb 9 '12 at 13:54
    
@Yamikuronue- what was in the failure? At least I would know something to avoid. –  Sobachatina Feb 9 '12 at 17:11
    
@Sobachatina I don't recall exactly, I think basalmic vinegar? hotelchocolat.com/src/valcomp_chocbytes/… are the suggestions the company that made it gives. Their chocolate food products were uniformly subpar, however :| –  Yamikuronue Feb 9 '12 at 17:33
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I recently did a bitter cocoa chili with hominy and tart, dried cherries and the combination worked very well. –  mfg Feb 10 '12 at 14:44
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3 Answers

up vote 3 down vote accepted

Hmmm, I would turn to cultures that use cocoa as a savory ingredient. There is quite a bit of Mexican cooking that does this and you did mention wanting to incorporate chili powder. How about looking at the ingredients in Mole sauce for an inspiration. Not sure I can provide specifics but just trying to give you some ideas. Mole is pretty intense so maybe temper it with a cream?

Just some idea suggestions for a starting point.

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I second this advice. I personally really enjoy smokey chili flavors with cocoa. Chipotle peppers immediately come to mind or maybe poblanos. –  LoganGoesPlaces Jul 24 '13 at 19:00
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I've seen very old recipes for rabbit in which you add bitter sweet chocloate to the sauce that also had the blood from the rabbit added for thickening (Think it was from an Elizabeth David book where I found it).

However seeing that Mexican dishes use cocoa as part of the mole dishes they are famous for I'd start looking for inspiration there.

What you'd be looking for is the depth of flavour you would get with the addition of the cocoa to the dish. It will give a nice base note but you wouldn't want to be tasting an over powering chocolate taste IMHO.

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I don't think I could get my wife to eat rabbit blood pasta sauce. –  Sobachatina Feb 9 '12 at 15:52
    
I really like the Mexican angle. Maybe something like carne asada over pasta with some pepper-based sauce would be interesting. I may have to try this on my own. –  Sean Hart Feb 9 '12 at 18:23
    
I bet this pulled pork taco recipe (which is delicious, I might add) could be adapted to work with a chocolate pasta. –  Jacob G Feb 10 '12 at 2:14
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I've made a chocolate freeform lasagna with roasted butternut squash, ricotta cheese and a sage & brown butter sauce that was to die for.

Other candidates would likely be be something along the lines of braised beef or pork. Ingredients with the strength to stand up to the cocoa in the pasta. Cream sauces and cheeses are perfect accompaniments. Salt and chili pair wonderfully with all of the above.

Best thing is to play with your food and have fun.

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