Chocolate isn't just for dessert. A good quality cocoa powder can be just as complex as artisan roasted coffee beans. Askinosie has award-winning chocolate all made with their own cocoa powder. We've infused pasta with cocoa powder to make a dark cocoa pasta. You can taste the bitterness and complexities of this small-batch cocoa powder and it pairs perfectly with lightly sweet pumpkin and creamy ricotta cheese. Take a look at Chef Austin's recipe for a ravioli to remember.
Step 1 Preheat oven to 400°F. Take a pie pumpkin and cut in half. Scoop out the seeds (reserve if you want to toast them for a snack later). Cut halves into quarters and place on a parchment lined baking tray. Sprinkle pumpkin with salt and pepper. Place a couple pats of butter on the pumpkin then roast in the oven for 45-50 minutes until brown and easily pierced with a fork. Remove from oven and cool.
Chef Note: We recommend roasting your own pumpkin, but if you wish, you could use 100% pure pumpkin puree from a can.
Step 2 Once the pumpkin is cooled, scoop out flesh and discard the skin. In a stand mixer, add in ricotta cheese, orange zest, and around 1 cup of roasted pumpkin flesh.
Step 3 Beat together and season to taste.
Step 1 Place flour, Askinosie cocoa powder, and eggs into Kitchenaid mixing bowl. Attach the mixing paddle and mix on speed 1 to combine ingredients for 30 seconds. Turn mixer to speed 2 to really incorporate ingredients; mix for around 1-2 minutes. A crumbly dough should form - if it looks dry add 1 tbsp of water at a time and mix.
Step 2 Change the paddle attachment to the kneading hook. Knead dough on speed 1 for one minute, if it looks dry and crumbly, add 1 tbsp of water and continue mixing. The dough should start to make a cohesive ball, when you see this, then crank up to speed 2 and knead for one more minute. Take it out ofthe mixer and knead on a floured surface for 1-2 minutes. Wrap in plastic wrap and let rest for 30 minutes in the refrigerator.
Step 3 Take rested dough, cut it into quarters and flatten down with your hand to work in portions. Make sure to flour your work surface so the dough doesn't stick. Set up the Kitchenaid pasta roller according to manufacturer’s instructions and set to the largest setting of 1. Set speed to 1 on the mixer and run the dough through the rollers. Repeat this process 12-14 times, folding dough over itself both horizontally and vertically alternatively each run through and making sure the dough is lightly floured each time before running through. This process is kneading the dough.
Step 4 Dial down the pasta roller to the 2 setting. Run the dough through this setting 2-3 times. Dial down to 3 and roll dough through once. Continue this process and roll dough through once on settings 4,5,6,7, and 8.
Step 5 Now at this point, it's time to stuff the ravioli. Take the ravioli mold, lay out the cocoa pasta sheet on the metal guide and slice a sheet slightly longer than the mold. Cut another sheet the same length. Use the plastic well mold and lightly press down onto the pasta. Take a spoon and gently place the pumpkin filling into each well.
Step 6 With a small bowl of water, wet your fingers and run them across the dry parts of the pasta. Take the other sheet of cut pasta and place on top of the filled ravioli. Use a rolling pin and roll over the ravioli mold to cut and seal the ravioli. Repeat Steps 5 and 6 until the desired amount of pasta is made.
Cooking Fresh Ravioli
Step 1 In a large sautée pan, add in butter, fresh thyme leaves, and pecans. Melt butter and keep the pan on the lowest heat setting.
Step 2 Heat a large pot of water over high heat and bring to a boil. Salt the water appropriately, 1.5 tablespoons per gallon of water. Add ravioli pasta to boiling water, cook for about 3 minutes to fully cook. Remove with a brass wire skimmerand add to the preheated butter sauce. Garnish with fresh crumbled gorgonzola cheese (bleu cheese would also work).
**Chef’s Notes** **9oz is about 1 3/4 cups if a scale is not available. A kitchen scale can help ensure perfect pasta every time.
** All-purpose flour can work as a substitute if 00 flour is not available.
About the Author:
Chef Austin Merath is Everything Kitchen's Culinary Wizard, Kitchen-Gadget Reviewer, and New-Product Tester. He studied under chefs in College of the Ozarks' Culinary Program. It's his job to make sure you choose the kitchen tools that are right for you by testing the best we have to offer. When not cooking, Austin is tinkering with computers or exploring the Ozarks with his wife Amy. Click here for his full bio.