Scarpinocc di cacao con funghi

Making handmade pasta is something I’ve really taken to over the past few weeks. Good food is all about the soul and no one does it better than the Italians. There’s something so magical about a warm bowl of pasta coated in a luxurious sauce. I love how the shapes and flavours of pasta change across the geography of Italy. Each region has its own shapes and flavours that make it distinct to them. Ask any Italian who their favourite chef is and they’re going to say their Nonna (grandmother). Italian nonnas make the country’s most delicious food, right out of their home kitchens, with fresh and wholesome ingredients that are treated with the utmost respect and grown in and around their homes. Each home has a unique recipe and every home is special.It’s their values of home, of family and of togetherness that resonate very strongly with me as it is so similar to how I grew up.

Scarpinocc is a pasta shape that originated in the Lombardy region of Italy, in a village called Parre. Originally Scarpinocc di Parre are these little pasta bundles filled with breadcrumbs and cheese. They are made to resemble clogs (shoes) made from cloth that were called scarpinocc and were worn by the Shepards of Parre. I was in a mood to experiment and decided to do my take on this. I’ve been dying to try flavoured pasta doughs, Italian cacao doughs have been on my mind, and so I used cacao (cocoa powder) in this recipe and made a gorgeous wild mushroom filling. These little pasta bundles were calling for a rich buttery sauce. I was inspired by Chef Evan Funke’s aromi misti, which is a rich, spiced and herbed brown butter sauce. And so this is my version.

Ingredients

Cacao Dough

00 Flour- 56g

All purpose flour – 28g

Cocoa Powder – 28g

Semola flour- 35g

Eggs – 4-5 depending on size of the eggs

Extra Virgin Olive Oil- 8mL

Salt- a pinch

Filling

Large onion -1 (around 80g)

Mixed wild mushrooms- 220g

Garlic- 8-10 cloves

Thyme- a handful

Truffle oil- a drizzle

Cream cheese- 30g

Parmigiano Reggiano- 15g

Salt- to taste

Pepper- to taste

Burnt Butter Sauce

Butter – 8 tablespoons

Cloves -3

Cinnamon stick -1

Rosemary -2 sprigs

Thyme- 3 sprigs

Sage leaves- 5-6 leaves

Mint leaves – 12

Basil- 5 leaves

Nutmeg- a generous shaving

Salt- to taste

Pepper-to taste

Tarragon oil

Tarragon leaves – 5 g

Extra Virgin Olive Oil -20g

Cacao nibs- to plate

Method

For the pasta dough.

Weigh out all the flours and cocoa and sieve them together. Add the salt to the flour mix. Create a well on a work surface and add the eggs in the centre. Mix together with a fork and make into a dough. You may need about 1 or 2 tablespoons of water. Knead well for a few mins till it is smooth. Shape it into a ball and cover and keep aside for half an hr or cling wrap and refrigerate upto 3 days.

For the mushroom filling-

Take some olive oil in a pan, add the garlic and sauté. Add the onions and sauté till translucent. At this point add in the stripped thyme leaves and the finely chopped wild mushrooms. Once cooked, turn off the heat and quickly add in the cream cheese and parmesan and mix together with the mushrooms. It will melt into the mushrooms. Add in a generous drizzle of truffle oil and season with salt and pepper.

To shape the pasta.

Roll out the pasta dough to about 2mm thickness. Cut with a round cutter, about 2.5 inches. Place the mixture in the centre. Fold over into a mezzalune shape (semi circle). Seal the edges and place the sealed side at the base and press down from the top, to get the shape right. For the classic scarpinocc, press your finger into the centre to create the dimple. Once shaped, put them in boiling water with a little oil and salt. They’ll be ready when they float on top. Drain out the pasta and add in to the ready sauce.

Tarragon oil

Take the tarragon leaves and the olive oil and blend together well. Strain to remove any bits of tarragon leaf till you get a translucent liquid. Let it sit overnight for the flavours to come together.

For the brown butter sauce

Take the butter in a pan and heat, add a dash of olive oil to prevent the butter from burning, add in the spices. Tear the leaves of the herbs and add them in. Let the butter foam and bubble and brown slightly.Add in the nutmeg. Season with salt and pepper.. Once done, immediately coat the pasta with the sauce, if needed add a little pasta water for it to coat well.

To plate, add the pasta along with a generous amount of the brown butter sauce along with shavings of parmesan, some cacao nibs, some of the herbs and a drizzle of tarragon oil! Indulge!

4 Comments Add yours

  1. I do love pulling recipes and foods from around the globe and adapting to our local ingredients here but there is something to be said about staying true to roots and ingredients locally. There is trueness about it, no?

    The photos are stunning!!

    Mollie

    Like

    1. Thankyou soo much! Yes I think so too,but I also think experimenting is a lot of fun. There’s soo much to learn! It’s amazing how you grow as a person, overall as you learn and travel. It really enhances life!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Oh yes! And don’t forget reading!! 🙂 My form of armchair traveling these days!!

        Like

      2. Hahaha yesss! The best thing to do now a days!

        Liked by 1 person

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