Pasta Dolce | Authentic Italian Sweet Pasta
Originating in Umbria, this "pasta dolce" (sweet pasta) is a treat often made around All Saint's Day. So it's sort of like a Halloween dessert, which is quite fitting considering its rich, chocolate flavor! Served cold and in slices, the pasta is intentionally overcooked to achieve its sticky, semi-solid state.
Watch the Pasta Grammar video where we made this recipe here:
For this recipe, you will need:
- 1 2/3 cup (200g) all-purpose flour
- 3/4 cup (180ml) water
- 7 oz. (200g) dark chocolate (around 70% cocoa), finely chopped
- 5.25 oz. (150g) walnuts, finely chopped
- 3.5 oz. (100g) bread crumbs
- 2 tsp. unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1 oz. (30ml) sweet cherry liquor or marsala wine
- 3 tbsp. honey
- Orange zest
- Powdered sugar
Pour the flour into a pile on a large work space. Use your hand to hollow out the middle so that it resembles a volcano. Pour the water into the hollow and, using a fork, begin gently mixing the flour and water together. Once the mixture thickens into a goopy texture, finish mixing thoroughly by hand.
Knead the dough vigorously until it is very smooth and consistently textured. Form into a ball, wrap in plastic, and allow to rest for 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, combine the dark chocolate, walnuts, bread crumbs, cocoa powder and liquor with a grating of orange zest in a large mixing bowl.
After the pasta has rested, roll it out in a large circle until it is quite thin—about 1/16th-inch thick. It's very important to dust the dough and the work surface often with extra flour to prevent sticking. Roll the sheet up in 4-inch folds (like a flattened carpet roll). Cut into 1/4-inch slices and unravel these strands, placing on a floured baking sheet for later. If the pasta is sticking together, be sure to dust it with more flour as you work.
Bring a large pot of water to a rolling boil. Meanwhile, heat the honey in a small saucepan over low heat. Add the fresh pasta into the water and cook for 5-6 minutes. Don't be alarmed: the pasta will be overcooked by normal standards but this is necessary for the dish.
Reserve 3-4 oz. of pasta water (about a cappuccino cup's worth) and drain the pasta. Add it directly into the chocolate/walnut mixing bowl along with the warm honey.
Stir all together until the chocolate completely melts. If the pasta becomes too thick and sticky, add a little of the reserved pasta water to thin the mixture.
Transfer into a pie or small casserole dish and allow to cool completely. Refrigerate for at least three hours before topping with powdered sugar and serving.