Photo: Sara Tane; Styling: Riddley Gemperlein-Schirm
While homemade chocolate pasta isn't hard to make, you can substitute 12 ounces of storebought chocolate pasta, which can be found online and in specialty stores. Of course, the recipe's active and total times will vary depending if you choose to make or buy the pasta. Don't skip the flaky salt or olive oil because, while they may seem odd in a dessert, they complement the pasta's subtle sweetness that almost borders on savory.
1. For the strawberries: In a small bowl, toss together the strawberries and sugar. Let macerate while you prepare the rest of the recipe.
2. For the Mascarpone-Vanilla Cream: In a medium-sized mixing bowl, whip the heavy whipping cream, mascarpone, and sugar either by hand or using a mixer just until stiff peaks form. Add vanilla and mix until just blended. Use immediately or store in the fridge, covered, for up to two days, bringing to room temperature before using.
3. Cook the pasta as per the recipe's or box's directions.
4. To finish the dish, plate the pasta and top with a heaping spoonful of Mascarpone-Vanilla cream and the macerated strawberries and their juices. Sprinkle with the toasted almonds, a few leaves of fresh mint, and a pinch of flakey salt. Drizzle with olive oil and serve.