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Vanilla Bean and Chocolate Spaghetti in an Orange Chocolate Sauce

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It’s so easy and convenient to grab a box of dried pasta, throw it in some boiling water, wait 10 minutes and voila. But it will never compare to the texture, lightness and idealism of fresh pasta.

With us being creatures of habit, this always seems to be the route more commonly tread, so let’s break that mold, let’s change the preconception of “15 more minutes of work”  to “15 minutes spent transforming a good meal into an unforgettable meal.”

Hell, let’s even throw in some chocolate.

I surprise myself every time I make this recipe as to how quick and painless it is. Truth be told, it would have to be for me to pull it off (as its only a dessert) whilst also focusing on the four prior courses and crew meals as well.

This dish is a great conversation piece for guests and, like all the recipes I share here, it’s an open canvas waiting for you to Jackson Pollock the convention out of it. Varieties I have done in the past include dark chocolate with pepper flakes, dulce de leche with toasted macadamia nuts, and white chocolate ganache.

 

For the pasta:

1/4 cup cocoa powder

1 3/4 cup all-purpose flour

4 Tbsps white sugar

Seeds of 1 vanilla pod (sliced long way with seeds removed)

2 pinches salt

2 eggs

3 Tbsps canola oil

1 tsp vanilla extract

Extra flour for rolling and kneading dough

Extra canola oil for boiling pasta

 

In a mixer with a dough hook, add cocoa powder, flour, sugar, vanilla bean seeds and salt. Mix on a medium speed for 1 minute.

Add eggs, oil and vanilla, and continue to mix on a medium speed until the dough starts to form a ball and it has all come off the mixing bowl cleanly. (If the mix is too sticky, add flour a teaspoon at a time.)

Place the dough ball on a floured work surface and knead for 5 minutes. The dough should be elastic and not too dry.

Wrap the kneaded dough in cling wrap and rest for at least 2 hours.

Roll the dough through your pasta machine starting with the largest setting. Roll it through twice and reduce setting size after each second consecutive roll.

Once dough has passed through the smallest setting twice, remove pasta rolling attachment and add the spaghetti cutter attachment. Flour the attachment and start rolling pasta sheets through.

Cut spaghetti in 8-inch lengths.

 

For the chocolate sauce:

6 oz semi-sweet chocolate, chopped

3 Tbsps butter, melted

5 Tbsps orange juice

 

In a double boiler set at medium heat, melt the chocolate.

Slowly add in melted butter, whisking as you do.

Slowly whisk in orange juice.

Turn off heat. Whisking sauce every few minutes for a few seconds as you cook the pasta.

 

Prepare:

Cook the spaghetti in boiling, unsalted and oiled (4 Tbsps) water for 2-3 minutes.

Drain quickly and add the pasta to the bowl containing the chocolate sauce. Toss gently, evenly coating with sauce.

Plate immediately and garnish with grated white chocolate, mint leaves and a quartered fig.

Mark Godbeer, a culinary-trained chef from South Africa, has been professionally cooking for more than 11 years, 9 of which have been on yachts (chefmarkgodbeer.com). Comments on this recipe are welcome at editorial@the-triton.com.

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