Welcome back to another edition of You Can Do This, where sometimes you might ask yourself, “Even if I can do it... should I?” This week’s recipe is a resounding “yes” — it’s for Nutella pasta, aka dessert noodles topped with a red sauce, just like the real thing.
But all is not as it appears. The noodles are actually made from agar-agar, a (flavorless) seaweed derivative that acts as a gelatin. Sometimes referred to as “vegetarian gelatin,” this powder turns liquid into a hard gel. The number-one mistake users make with agar agar, or hydrocolloids in general, is improperly hydrating the powder: to do this, bring it to a boil in water, whisking to incorporate.
After the agar is ready, dissolve some sugar in the hot water and agar solution, then quickly whisk in the Nutella. Spread an even layer onto a non-stick baking mat and place in the fridge until set. Then, cut the layer into strips and plate up your pasta. Top it with blended strawberries to make the “red sauce” and add a dash of shredded coconut to mimic cheese.