Say it with chocolate pasta? Trust us, your sweetheart will swoon

Ah, Valentine’s Day. Roses are sent to a secret admirer. Lovers and couples exchange gifts of jewelry, fragrance, lingerie and more. It’s also the time to show someone special that you care.

 

But nothing says “I care” or “I love you,” like a gift made with love.

So, why not make a gift with love, from one of the most popular gifts of all? Chocolate.

Sure, you could make chocolate truffles, or chocolate cake, but why not make something more unique? Chocolate Pasta.

Rich cocoa powder is infused and mixed into a simple homemade pasta recipe. Surrounded by a velvety smooth Vanilla Crème Sauce. Finished with a drizzle of bright and cool Raspberry Coulis.

Sound difficult? No, it’s not, and here is how you can do it.

Sweethearts Chocolate Pasta with Vanilla Cream Sauce and Raspberry Coulis

Yield: 4-6 (recipe can be cut in half) | Time: 2 hours 45 minutes | Prep: 2 ½ hours | Cook: 15 minutes

INGREDIENTS

FOR PASTA AND VANILLA CREAM SAUCE:

¼ cup The Spice &Tea Exchange Cocoa Powder-Dutched

½ teaspoon The Spice &Tea Exchange Chocolate Sea Salt, divided

2 teaspoons The Spice &Tea Exchange Madagascar Pure Vanilla Extract, divided

1 teaspoon The Spice &Tea Exchange Baker’s Secret Spice Blend, divided (about 60 grinds total)

FOR PASTA:

2 ½ cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting

3 tablespoons powdered sugar

3 large eggs, plus 1 egg yolk

1 tablespoon olive oil

3 to 4 tablespoons water, to moisten dough if it’s too dry (you may not need all of the water)

FOR VANILLA SAUCE:

2 tablespoons unsalted butter

2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

3 ½ cups milk, warmed

2 tablespoons powdered sugar

3 ounces white chocolate, finely grated (a fine cheese grater works well), plus more for garnish

3 fresh mint sprigs, plus more for garnish

FOR THE RASPBERRY COULIS:

1 cup frozen raspberries, thawed, with juices

2 teaspoon light agave nectar or honey

½ teaspoon lemon juice

GARNISH:

¼ cup Crème Fraiche or sour cream for garnish

PREPARATION

TO MAKE PASTA DOUGH:

Combine 2 ½ cups flour, sugar, Cocoa Powder-Dutched, ½ teaspoon Baker’s Secret Spice Blend and ¼ teaspoon Chocolate Sea Salt, in the bowl of a food processor. Pulse once to combine.

Add in eggs, egg yolk, 1 teaspoon Madagascar Pure Vanilla Extract, olive oil, and process until dough comes together into a rough dough. If dough doesn’t come together, and looks dry, slowly stream in water, while processor is running, until dough ball forms. If dough is too sticky, add a tablespoon of flour, and process again. Repeat with additional flour if necessary.

Remove dough from processor onto a lightly floured counter, and knead 15 - 30 seconds, into a smooth ball. Wrap dough in plastic wrap and let rest on counter for at least 30 minutes or up to 1 day in the refrigerator.

TO ROLL OUT PASTA DOUGH:

With pasta machine: Set up manual or electric pasta roller. Cut the dough into 4 to 6 pieces. Work with 1 piece at a time, keeping the rest of dough covered. Flatten into small rectangle, thin enough to fit though the widest setting of your pasta machine.

Roll 1 lightly floured piece through the widest setting. Fold dough into thirds, like folding a letter, pressing together with hands to slightly flatten. Repeat once on same setting. Continue to roll pasta once or twice on each setting, keeping dough lightly floured. (no need to fold pasta at this point). For traditional size pasta, rolling out to number 6 or 7 works well. If your pasta sheet gets too long, you can cut it in half between settings.

Roll pasta by hand: Cut dough into 4 to 6 pieces. Place one piece of dough on a lightly floured work surface. Press and shape into a flat rectangle. Using a rolling pin, roll dough out from its center, to as thin as possible, keeping a rectangle shape. Lift and move dough in between rolls, to ensure it doesn’t stick. Lightly dust with flour where necessary.

Cutting dough by machine or hand: Guide 12-inch sheets of dough through desired pasta cutter. Dust liberally with flour, and place on a floured baking sheet in bundles to dry, if not immediately cooking.

Cutting dough by hand: Generously sprinkle 12-inch lengths of dough with flour and gently roll it up. Cut the roll cross-wise into desired width noodles using a sharp knife. Unravel, shake noodles out, and toss with flour. Transfer directly to boiling water to cook, or place on a well-floured baking sheet and cover with a towel, until ready to use. Pasta may be dried and refrigerated for 2 days.

TO MAKE VANILLA CREAM SAUCE:

Melt butter in a large pan over medium heat. Add 2 tablespoons flour, and whisk together, to fully incorporate and form a paste. Slowly add milk, a little at a time, whisking constantly, so that no lumps form. Bring to a boil, allowing sauce to thicken. Immediately turn heat to low. Sauce should be somewhat thin and just coat the back of a spoon. Cook on low for 5 minutes. Whisk in powdered sugar, 1 teaspoon Madagascar Pure Vanilla Extract, ½ teaspoon Baker’s Secret Spice Blend, mint sprigs, and ¼ teaspoon Chocolate Sea Salt. Incorporate in white chocolate 1 ounce at a time, allowing chocolate to melt into sauce. Cook 4 minutes longer, remove mint sprigs, and keep warm until ready to use.

If sauce becomes too thick, whisk in a little pasta water just before use.

COOKING PASTA:

Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add 2 tablespoons salt, and give water a quick stir. Gently drop in desired amount of pasta, and cook 2-4 minutes, until al dente. Drain, reserving 1 cup of cooking water.

Transfer pasta to pan with completed vanilla sauce, tossing gently to combine, adding a little of the reserved pasta water to help with sauce consistency.

TO MAKE RASPBERRY COULIS:

Puree all ingredients in a blender or small food processor.

Pour mixture through a fine mesh strainer, pressing on solids, into a bowl. Discard solids.

Chill covered until needed, up to 3 days.

To serve: Place a portion of pasta with sauce in a bowl. Drizzle with raspberry coulis, a few fresh raspberries, fresh mint leaves, sprinkling of grated white chocolate and a small dollop of Crème Fraiche.

LOOKING FOR SOMETHING A LITTLE SIMPLER?

Not quite ready to tackle a homemade pasta recipe, but still thinking that a dessert might be the way to their heart? Our Mini Red Velvet Fudge Trifles will overwhelm their senses, with decadent red velvet brownies smothered in luscious hot fudge, a light layer of cream cheese topping and juicy raspberries.

For a light and bright beverage, our Strawberry Jasmine Spritzer is the perfect balance of fruit and flowers. It can be made as a sparkling seltzer, or try adding to white wine for a Strawberry Jasmine Wine Spritzer Cocktail.

How about a warm Valentine’s Day cocktail to compliment your menu? Our Spiced Bourbon Cocktail, also known as “Cupids Love Potion,” is the perfect cozy night cap to a special day. Crisp, yet tart, flavors from Cranberry Apple Tart Herbal Tea are combined with bourbon and apple cider, creating this warming winter night’s cocktail. For an extra spicy sweet treat, rim your glass with our Mango Habanero Sugar.

Who could resist these heartfelt flavor rich recipes? The best part is, they’re made with love.

Don’t see a recipe they’ll love? Find these heartfelt recipes and many more at spiceandtea.com.

 

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