Savory Chocolate Pasta with Bucherondin, Hazelnuts, and Cherries
Chocolate pasta is available at gourmet grocery stores throughout the country, or you can make it pretty easily yourself. You’re more than welcome to use any aged, well-mannered goat cheese available to you, or even the standard log of small-production chèvre from your local grocery store if that’s what you’ve got. The key here is balance: the pasta is bitter; the cherries are sweet; the hazelnuts are, well, nutty; so the cheese should be capriciously tart to round out the playlist. A chorus of red wine vinegar, ground mustard, and maple syrup adds even more dimension by way of an intriguing vinaigrette.
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
- 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons hazelnut oil
- 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
- 2 tablespoons maple syrup
- 1/4 teaspoon ground mustard
- 1 heaping tablespoon cocoa nibs
- 1 pinch kosher salt
- 1 pinch freshly ground black pepper
- 1/2 cup hazelnuts
- 12 ounces chocolate pasta (preferably linguini, but use what you can find)
- 5 ounces Bucherondin or a goat cheese of your liking roughly broken apart
- 1 cup pitted cherries (Bing, Brooks, or Rainier are all lovely varieties)
- 2 cups arugula leaves washed and dried
Place the hazelnut oil, red wine vinegar, maple syrup, ground mustard, cocoa nibs, salt, and pepper in a jar with a tight-fitting lid and shake vigorously to combine (a bowl and whisk will do this job just fine, too). Taste and adjust seasonings as desired. Set aside.
Preheat the oven to 350°F (176°C) and bring a pot of salted water to a boil. Place the hazelnuts on a baking sheet and toast in the oven for 10 to 15 minutes or until the skins darken and blister and the nuts are hauntingly fragrant. Wrap the hazelnuts in a clean dishtowel and leave them to steam for 1 minute. Rub the nuts in the dishtowel to scrub the skins off. Don’t worry if some of the skin stays; we just want the bulk of it removed. Roughly chop the nuts and set aside.
Cook the pasta until al dente (you can do this while the hazelnuts are toasting). Drain the pasta through a colander and set aside.
Plate the hot pasta in bowls. Scatter the Bucherondin over the top of the pasta, followed by the cherries and hazelnuts. Top each bowl with a handful of arugula, dress with the vinaigrette, and serve.
Calories: 655kcal | Carbohydrates: 64g | Protein: 17g | Fat: 43g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g | Monounsaturated Fat: 25g | Cholesterol: 16mg | Sodium: 67mg | Potassium: 190mg | Fiber: 5g | Vitamin A: 600IU | Vitamin C: 3.3mg | Calcium: 60mg | Iron: 1.1mg