This was a complete new recipe to me. I had always wanted to use chocolate in a savoury dish, but had never had the courage to actually go ahead and do it. Since I started blogging though, I got a bit more self-confident with my cooking skills and so I thought that my Foodbuzz 24×24 Christmas in July event would be the perfect occasion to try something a bit unusual and somewhat non-traditional. I wanted to make gnocchi, so the idea of using cocoa powder in them came quite naturally to me. I did not have a recipe for cocoa gnocchi, so I adapted my basic Ricotta Gnocchi recipe by playing around with the proportions of the ingredients and adding the cocoa powder to the dough. I must say that the end result was very good. You could distinctly taste the cocoa but its slightly bitter flavour was well balanced by the ricotta and the sauce made with mascarpone, milk, walnuts and garlic. We were all quite impressed!
Ingredients: (for 4 persons)
For the sauce (recipe adapted from Butta la Pasta)
100 gms mascarpone
50 gms walnuts
1/2 clove of garlic
50 ml milk
2 tbsp Parmigiano Reggiano, thinly grated
2 tbsp pine nuts, toasted
Parsley, chopped (optional)
Salt and pepper
Extra Parmigiano Reggiano, thinly grated to serve
Start by preparing the cocoa gnocchi. Put all the ingredients in a bowl, mix them well and knead into a smooth dough.
Proceed to make gnocchi as per the tutorial on How to make ricotta gnocchi.
To prepare the sauce, chop the walnuts and garlic in an electric mixer.
Put them in a pot with the milk, mascarpone, a pinch of salt & pepper and grated Parmigiano Reggiano.
Heat it up while stirring it but do not boil. Once the ingredients are well combined and the sauce is warm, keep it aside.
Dry roast the pine nuts on a pan over the stove. Move them around often so they do not burn. They should be ready in a couple of minutes.
To cook the gnocchi, take a large pot and fill it with water. Put the pot on the fire and add a handful of sea salt into the water. When the water is boiling, put the gnocchi in. As soon as the gnocchi start floating, they are ready (they cook very quickly, usually 1 or 2 minutes). Remove them with a slotted spoon and put them in the pan with the sauce. Mix well on low fire and serve hot. Decorate with the toasted pine nuts, chopped parsley (optional) and a good sprinkle of Parmigiano Reggiano.