Slow-cooked vegan Italian sugo, with a dash of cacao

Is there anything more warming than the sound of this vegan tomato and basil capellini* with a dash of cacao powder to warm us up, as the winter approaches? Most of us think of sweet recipes when it comes to cooking with chocolate, but Italians have been adding chocolate to their pasta (and risotto) dishes for centuries. The secret here is the slow cooking, while using a high quality cacao powder definitely adds an intensity to the sauce that develops over time.


200g capellini pasta (gluten-free if preferred)
25g Raw Organic Cacao Powder
600g cherry tomatoes
1/4 cup of water
1 garlic clove
3/4 slivers of onion
3/4 leaves of fresh basil, shredded
Salt (as required)
Extra virgin olive oil


Heat the oil in a deep pan and sauté the garlic and onion. Add the cherry tomatoes, water and salt and cook over a medium heat. Once the sauce starts taking shape, stir in the cacao powder. Add basil, lower the heat and let it simmer, for 40/60 mins. In the meantime, cook your pasta to boiling salted water. Drain the pasta, add your sugo and your dish is pronto, as the Italians would say. 

The result is a deep and velvety 'sugo'. As with all good Italian sugo, the secret really is in the slow cooking and most importantly, using the finest of ingredients.

Let us know if you try it!

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