It turns out that Chocolate Pasta Pie, or a Torta Ricciolina in Italian, is traditional to Bologna.
This recipe comes from Francine Segan’s book DOLCI: Italy’s Sweets. She cautions that wheat pasta is too dry for the pie – use egg noodles.
Read below for the recipe, and click here to enter YOUR delicious pie (or pies) in the 5th Annual Good Food Pie Contest on Saturday, September 7th at LACMA.
Chocolate Pasta Pie (Torta Ricciolina)
(From DOLCI: Italy’s Sweets, by Francine Segan. Published by Stewart, Tabori & Chang, 2011.)
Angel hair pasta seasoned with chocolate and almonds bake into one of the most unusual, delicious pies I’ve ever tasted.
To make this classic Bolognese dessert, you absolutely must use fresh, not dried, egg pasta. If making your own pasta seems daunting, buy ready-made fresh instead. Just make sure it’s egg pasta, the kind with a deep yellow color. Water-and-flour white pasta is simply too dry for this dish.
This is a great make-ahead dessert, as it’s much better the day after, once all the flavors have melded.
1/2 pie crust, store bought or homemade
8 ounces fresh thin egg-pasta, such as tagliatelline or angel hair
8 ounces, about 1 1/2 cups, whole blanched almonds
3/4 cup granulated sugar
Zest of 1 lemon
2 ounces, about 1/3 cup, finely chopped candied orange peel
2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
6 tablespoons butter, thinly sliced
1/3 cup rum
Grind the almonds and sugar in a food processor until it resembles coarse sand. Pulse in the zest, candied citron or orange peel, and cocoa powder until well combined. Divide into 3 parts.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line a 9 or 10-inch pie pan with the pie crust. Pot lots of holes in the bottom and sides of the crust with a fork.
Divide the pasta into 3 parts, with one part being slightly larger than the other two.
Line the pie pan with the larger portion of pasta and sprinkle with 1/3 of the almond mixture. Lift the pasta with the tip of a knife so it loose and free form. Do not press the pasta down. Dot the pasta with thin slices of the butter.
Top with another layer of pasta sprinkled with a third of the almond mixture and more butter. Repeat for a third and final layer.
Loosely cover with aluminum foil, bake for 25 minutes, then remove the foil and continue baking uncovered for another 20-25 minutes until the top is golden and the center set.
Remove from the oven and immediately sprinkle the top of the pie with the rum. It will hiss and absorb quickly, with most of the alcohol evaporating, leaving just a lovely aroma and flavor.
Allow to cool to room temperature. Serve, preferably after it’s rested overnight or for 24 hours, topped with confectioners’ sugar.