Chocolate Nut Lasagne
6 oz plain flour (all purpose flour)
1 oz cocoa
1 oz caster sugar
1 tsp olive oil
1.25 pints semi-skimmed milk (1.5 pints U.S.)
1 vanilla pod, split
1 egg + 2 egg yolks
1 tbsp cornflour (1.25 tbsp cornstarch U.S.)
2 oz caster sugar
6 oz jar pitted morello cherries
4 oz raisins
2 oz hazelnuts, toasted and roughly chopped
2 oz pine nuts, toasted
4 oz dark chocolate, grated
Pasta: Sift flour and cocoa, stir in sugar. Make a well in the middle, stir oil, eggs and salt and mix to a smooth dough. Knead abou 5 minutes on a lightly floured surface until smooth. Roll out on a floured surface until 3mm(1/8 inch) thich, and cut into 10x30cm/4x12inch rectangles (or pass thru rollers of a pasta machine). Leave to rest for an hour while preparing custard.
Custard: Heat milk with the vanilla pod until just boiling. In a bowl, beat egg, egg yolks, cornflour and sugar until smooth. Pour over the boiling milk, beating constantly. Strain back into the pan, bring to the boil and simmer 3 mins until thickened.
Assemble the lasagne: In a 30x20cm/12x8 inch baking dish, start with 4tbsp of custart spread over the base. Top this with a layer of nuts, cherries, raisins and chocolate, then a layer of pasta. Repeat until the ingredients are used up, ending with a layer of custard and a sprinkling of nuts.
Bake covered at 200C/400F/Gas 6 for 20 minutes, then uncovered for a further 10 minutes. Serve hot with cream or ice cream.
Note: If you don't like pine nuts, this is equally as good (if not better) if you use extra hazelnuts, or UNSALTED pistachios instead!
In Italy there already exists a type of chocolate pasta, which is made with very bitter chocolate and is usually served with game sauce.
FOR THE PASTA
3 cups (250 g) all-purpose flour
1/2 cup (100 g) cocoa powder
2 tablespoons (25 g) granulated sugar
Pinch of cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
FOR THE SAUCE
6 teaspoons good-quality, clear honey
6 tablespoons chopped pistachio nuts
Sift the flour with the cocoa powder, and stir in the sugar and cinnamon. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients, add the eggs and vanilla extract, and mix to a smooth dough.
Roll out the dough on a floured surface until 1/8 inch (3 mm thick. With a pastry wheel cut the dough into strips 3/4 inch (2 cm) wide and about 7 inches (18 cm) long. (If you have a pasta machine, you can use it to roll the dough out into the ribbons.)
Cook the pasta in unsalted, boiling water for 3 minutes. Drain and divide between 4 warmed plates. Drizzle a generous teaspoon of honey and sprinkle 1 tablespoon pistachio nuts over each serving. Serves 4.