• deborahreinhardt

Chocolate pasta with mushrooms and Gorgonzola


This luxurious dish comes together in under 40 minutes.

Chocolate is not just for dessert. Italians have used chocolate in savory dishes for centuries. This recipe is a luxurious dish that combines the best of friends, chocolate and cheese, to create a memorable dinner.


As a chocolate lover, I was more than excited to find chocolate pasta in a specialty market years ago. At the time, I didn’t know what to do with my purchase, but I knew I had to have it.


Once I got home and started to research recipes, most were dessert dishes that combined chocolate pasta with fruits like strawberries. But I wanted something savory. Then I remembered some of the best meals I ever had while traveling often were finished simply with a board of fruit, fine cheese, nuts, and sometimes chunked dark chocolate. Now I was on to something.


Of course, Italians have known for centuries how to cook savory dishes using chocolate. Mine wasn’t a revolutionary idea, but it does create a crazy decadent Alfredo sauce using Gorgonzola instead of traditional Parmesan cheese. And the cocoa flavor in the pasta is just enough to say “hello” to your taste buds. Toasted walnuts stirred into the sauce at the end provide nice texture, and the shaved chocolate on top provides a great finish to this recipe. Give it a try for National Pasta Day on Oct. 17, an anniversary dinner, or anytime you want to make dinner special. A nice Merlot would pair well with this.



Chocolate pasta with mushrooms and Gorgonzola

YIELD: 4 servings

Ingredients

1 16-ounce package chocolate linguine

1½ cups finely sliced crimini (baby bellas) mushrooms

6 ounces crumbled Gorgonzola cheese

½ cup walnuts, coarsely chopped

¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons salted butter

1 cup heavy cream, warmed

1 clove garlic, crushed

2 to 3 ounce dark chocolate chunk for grating


Method

In a large stockpot, bring four quarts of salted water to a boil and cook linguine according to package directions.


Melt 2 tablespoons of butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add sliced mushrooms, but do not overcrowd. Do in batches if necessary to allow for proper browning. Remove finished mushrooms from skillet and reserve for later.

Using a paper towel, wipe out the skillet and over a medium-low heat, carefully toast the walnuts. Be careful not to burn. When you start to smell the nuts’ aroma, take off heat and set aside.


In a medium sauce pan, melt ¼ cup butter over medium-low heat. Add warmed cream and simmer for 3 to 5 minutes. Whisk in cheese and garlic and take off heat once cheese has melted.


Drain pasta and return to stockpot. Add mushrooms, walnuts, and sauce. Toss gently. Plate the pasta and, using a microplane (or fine grater), shave chocolate over pasta right before serving.



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