NOT a food blog
I looked at the block of chocolate which Paprika gave me as a souvenir from London, uncertain how to react. ”This is so generous of you, but I don’t bake, Paps,” I said meekly and pushed it back to her. ”You take it and bake me something with it lah!” For something so precious, I couldn’t bear to accept it and leave it in my refrigerator, untouched for the next 20 years.
“You can cook savoury dishes with it oso what,” she said.
That’s an idea, I thought. So I accepted her kind gift, and then left it in my refrigerator, untouched for the next 3 months. My fridge is like a black hole. Nothing survives. Nothing escapes. Nothing comes out.
I forgot all about the chocolate until a few days back when I turned on the TV and I saw David Rocco’s Dolce Vita where he echoed what Paps said. “You can cook savoury dishes with chocolate oso what.” It was like a voice from the heavens, and I was slayed by the spirit of Paps/David Rocco. I ran to my kitchen, pulled out the block of Willie’s 100% Supreme Cacao which boasted a single bean origin with notes of redcurrant and spice. I ripped off the label, chopped up a third of the 180g block and looked heavenwards and asked, “What now?”
Thankfully, I had taken mental notes after watching the programme on TV, and pulled out a couple of garlic cloves, chopped them up and threw them into a hot pan which was already heating up a drizzle of olive oil. In the meantime, I chucked some penne into a pot of boiling water. While the garlic spluttered in the frying pan, I twisted open a jar of anchovies and dumped the entire content into the pan, breaking the anchovies into tiny bits with my silicone spatula in fuchsia until they dissolved in the sizzling hot oil and garlic mixture.
The chocolate went into the pan next, and as it melted, the sauce turned a beautiful deep colour. A handful of blitzed breadcrumbs went in next to thicken the sauce before I added the pot of drained penne into the saucepan.
Bald Eagle yelled from upstairs, “Is dinner ready yet? I’m starving!” Images of his sprawled semi-naked body on the floor flashed before my eyes and I knew that a repeat performance was going to take place if I delayed any longer. I should be so lucky.
As I stirred the pasta in the frying pan, it occurred to me that I had a plastic container full of Wagyu Prime Rib, a ta-pau of leftovers from a totally wagyu-ed out birthday dinner at Prime Le Meridien a couple of days earlier. Waste not want not, deny the black hole the pleasure of wagyu. I reheated the 250g portion, sliced it and threw it into the pasta. Beautiful.
As a final touch, as a tribute to my friend Paprika of ravenousrabbit.blogspot.com, I sprinkled a dash of smoked paprika into the pasta and stirred it in for that lovely spicy smokey flavour. For presentation, some chopped Italian parsley did the trick.
Our verdict: Amazing! (Ya, really wan) Other than the fact that my pasta was cooked perfectly al dente, the bitter and nutty flavour of the chocolate worked wonderfully with the salty anchovies, and the sauce adhered well to the pasta. There is nothing sweet about a 100% chocolate block, so I am glad that I decided to toss in the leftover wagyu as it provided a natural sweetness to the dish. I am so in love with this recipe! (and David Rocco…I love youuuu!)
Happy weekend, everyone, and be brave…try this recipe! (For exact measurements of the original recipe, check out David Rocco’s website HERE.)
Food, for me, is a means to an end and not an end in itself.
Food, for me, represents the love of family, the fellowship of friends, and the community and communality it brings.