Penne al Cioccolato con Acciughe for Your Valentine

Friday, February 11, 2011


Everyone knows that Valentine’s Day is synonymous with chocolate.  It’s the food of love.  Who doesn’t melt a little when presented with one of those precious little heart-shaped boxes on this day when we celebrate love and romance?  But, chocolate isn’t only for the sentimental.  It’s big business too.  In fact, in these days leading up to V-Day, American consumers are expected to buy more than 58 million pounds of chocolate, and shell out around $345 million dollars to do it.  That’s a lot of chocolate!

But what about those of us, myself included, whose sweethearts don’t have a sweet tooth?  (Yes, Mr. SGCC, I’m talking about you!)  Don’t they deserve a rich, delicious, velvety chocolate token of your affection too?   I think so, and that is why I’m excited to share this pasta dish with you. 


I saw TV chef, David Rocco, prepare this Penne al Cioccolato con Acciughe, or Chocolate Penne with Anchovies, on his show a few days ago, and it intrigued me.  I wasn’t surprised that he was using chocolate in a savory dish.  People have been doing that for ages.  What really drew me in was that instead of as an add-in, he was using chocolate as the main ingredient in his dish – and a lot of it.  I was also fascinated by the fact that he paired the chocolate with anchovies.  When I saw that, I had quite a WTF moment!  It must have worked though, because when David fed a taste of the concoction to his wife, she kind of swooned a little.   That was when I knew I had to recreate this dish at home.


Penne al Cioccolato con Acciughe requires only a few ingredients and is very quick and easy to prepare.  You put your pasta on to boil and make the sauce while it cooks.  By the time the pasta is ready, the sauce is too.  It’s also all tossed together in one pan so cleanup is minimal, leaving more time for…well…other things.

But, how did it taste?  Pretty darn good, actually!   It was definitely chocolatey, but not really sweet.  And, it was rich!  The anchovies were very subtle, adding just a hint of smoky saltiness to the dish – not “fishy” at all.   While Penne al Cioccolato con Acciughe will probably never replace truffles as my chocolate indulgence of choice, it is definitely an interesting dish that is well worth trying – especially for Valentine’s Day.  And, while it didn’t instantly convert Mr. SGCC into a chocolate lover, I think it got him one step closer.



10 responses to Penne al Cioccolato con Acciughe for Your Valentine

  1. On February 11, 2011 at 12:14pm, Rosa said...

    A very unique and interesting pasta dish! I bet it tastes wonderful.



  2. On February 11, 2011 at 12:51pm, The Food Hunter said...

    I wonder if I can convince my husband to try this…It sounds so interesting and looks so good.

  3. On February 11, 2011 at 12:53pm, J3nn (Jenn's Menu and Lifestyle Blog) said...

    WOW, now THAT is different! I’m sure I would like it if I tried it. I’m pretty adventurous with my palate. :)

  4. On February 11, 2011 at 2:00pm, Joan Nova said...

    I must admit my first reaction was…this is wrong, but I got sucked in and I’m now quite intrigued.

  5. On February 11, 2011 at 2:01pm, Rachel (S[d]OC) said...

    While I like to use chocolate in savory dishes, I usually use it unsweetened. It’s interesting that they use sweet chocolate in this dish. I’m afraid I really dont’ like anchovies though. Fortunately, my husband is as fond of chocolate desserts as I am.

  6. On February 12, 2011 at 12:23am, Priyanka said...

    Wow….very innovative and suiting the occasion :)

  7. On February 12, 2011 at 7:49pm, Gourmet Mama said...

    Hmm, I’m really not a fan of fish, so I can’t see trying this one . . . but I have made mole, which is a chocolate based sauce with chicken, so I’m not against using chocolate in savory dishes. It just seems better to eat it plain, though!

  8. On February 13, 2011 at 9:00am, Paula said...

    with chocolate? I need to try this!

  9. On February 13, 2011 at 9:51pm, Eliana said...

    This has delicious and comfort written all over it. Seriously Susan – I love it.

  10. On July 26, 2015 at 11:18am, stagesoul said...

    I tried this but the chocolate was more bitter than I would have liked. Was yours bitter too? If so, how did you resolve the problem?

1 pings to Penne al Cioccolato con Acciughe for Your Valentine

  1. On February 11, 2011 at 1:57pm, Tweets that mention Penne al Cioccolato con Acciughe for Your Valentine | Sticky, Gooey, Creamy, Chewy | A Blog About Food with a Little Life Stirred In -- pinged...

    […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Susan Filson , Trapit. Trapit said: Penne al Cioccolato con Acciughe for Your Valentine #foodie […]

please post a comment...

kiss the cook!

Hello and welcome to SGCC! I’m Susan, a professional writer, food columnist, recipe developer, wife, mother, daughter and sister, who used to be a lawyer in a previous life. My love of food comes from a long line of wonderful and creative Italian home cooks who didn’t always have a lot, but knew how to make a lot out of what they had. I hope that you enjoy yourself while you’re here, and visit often! read more >>

Just Browsing?
55 Knives
follow me!

    Follow Me on Pinterest

    Friday Food Lust

    Fine Cooking