Tortelloni with Eggplant and Cocoa Sauce


When the Trojan War ended with the victory of Greek army over Troy, all heroes returned back home. Agamemnon was one of them. He goes back to his palace in Mycenae and there his wife Clytemnestra welcomes him with glory and seems to accept even his mistress trophy Kassandra. Nevertheless, a behind the scenes story had been going on in that palace during Agamemnon’s absence.

His wife, Clytemnestra, was romantically involved with his cousin Aegisthus, who deputized during Agamemnon’s absence. One may say that ten years is a long time for a young woman to wait patiently and I think Clytemnestra wouldn’t agree more. Apart from that, she never forgave Agamemnon for sacrificing their daughter Iphigenia in order for the ships to sail to Troy.


So, Agamemnon returns to his palace without having a clue of what was going on during his long absence and not only that, brings Kassandra as his trophy lover with him and forces her to his wife. Now tell me how much a woman can endure?

Clytemnestra had already made her decision and while she lets nothing reveal her intentions, she plots his death. She pretends to accept his mistress and welcomes him with great honors to quell any suspicions from his part. Aegisthus, on the other hand, who was Agamemnon’s cousin, believed that throne should be his, because Agamemnon’s father took it from his father with a conniving, horrendous scheme.


According to Pindar and the tragedians, Agamemnon was killed after having finished his bath by his wife and Aegisthus. She gave him a robe that had no openings for the hands and head and at the moment when he tried to untangle from it Clytemnestra hit him with an ax and Aegisthus speared him twice. Clytemnestra went on and with the same blooded ax killed Kassandra as well.

Agamemnon’s son Orestes later avenged his father’s murder, with the help or encouragement of his sister Electra, by murdering Aegisthus and Clytemnestra his own mother. But this is another story for another time to tell.


Having recently returned from my vacations close to Mycenae all this tragedy was still upon me and I started remembering many of the myths I learned while at school. I also remembered that Aeschylus in his tragedy “Agamemnon” says “don’t say for someone that he is happy until you see his death” which is something that we can say that has a timeless value.

I was talking with my son over all this history while I was preparing this delicious lunch on a Sunday noon a little after our return from our vacations! These tortelloni are packed with flavors and the addition of cocoa gives this sauce a completely different dimension!



5.0 from 6 reviews
Tortelloni with Eggplant and Cocoa Sauce
Author/ Συγγραφέας:
Recipe type/ Τύπος Πιάτου: Main Course
Cuisine/ Κουζίνα: Mediterranean
Ingredients/ Συστατικά
  • 500 gr. / 1 lb tortelloni with four cheeses
  • 1 eggplant, diced
  • 2 zucchinis, diced
  • 1 green pepper, diced
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 4 tsp tomato paste
  • 3 tsp cocoa powder
  • ½ cup wine, any type divided
  • ¼ cup water
  • 1 cup tomato sauce
  • 2 tbsp oyster sauce
  • ½ cup water from pasta
  • Salt, pepper
  • ¼ tsp paprika
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • Olive oil for sautéing
Instructions/ Εκτέλεση
  1. In a large skillet add about three tbsp of olive oil and in medium heat sauté the eggplant, zucchinis and pepper until soft.
  2. Remove them and set aside.
  3. In the same skillet add couple of tbsp of olive oil and sauté the onion and garlic until soft.
  4. Pour the ¼ cup of wine and scrape the bottom of the pan.
  5. Let it boil until the wine has lost almost all its volume.
  6. Add the tomato paste and cocoa and stir until a thick paste has formed and the fragrance of cocoa has evolved.
  7. Add the eggplant/zucchini/pepper, ¼ cup of water, the 1 cup of tomato juice, salt pepper, paprika and sugar and let them boil for about 10 minutes.
  8. Towards the end add the oyster sauce and the rest ¼ cup of wine.
  9. In the meantime prepare the tortelloni and reserve ½ cup of the water in which they boil.
  10. When they are almost ready, drain them and throw them in the sauce along with the pasta water.
  11. Stir gently and let them simmer for a couple of minutes.
  12. Serve immediately.
Notes/ Σημειώσεις
Recipe inspired from Bon Apetit

5.0 from 6 reviews
Τορτελόνι με Σαλτσα Μελιτζάνας και Κακάου
Author/ Συγγραφέας:
Recipe type/ Τύπος Πιάτου: Κυρίως Πιάτο
Cuisine/ Κουζίνα: Μεσογειακή
Ingredients/ Συστατικά
  • 500 γρ. τορτελλόνι με τέσσερα τυριά
  • 1 μελιτζάνα κομμένη σε κύβους
  • 2 κολοκυθάκια κομμένα σε κύβους
  • 1 πράσινη πιπεριά κομμένη σε κύβους
  • 1 κρεμμύδι, ψιλοκομμένο
  • 2 σκελίδες σκόρδο, ψιλοκομμένες
  • 4 κ.γ. πελτέ ντομάτας
  • 3 κ.γ. κακάο σε σκόνη
  • ½ φλιτζάνι κρασί, οποιοδήποτε είδος
  • ¼ φλ. νερό
  • 1 φλ. πασάτα ντομάτας
  • 2 κ.σ. σάλτσα στρειδιών
  • ½ φλ. νερό από τα ζυμαρικά
  • Αλάτι, πιπέρι
  • ¼ κ.γ. πάπρικα
  • 1 κ.σ. ζάχαρη
  • Ελαιόλαδο για σοτάρισμα
Instructions/ Εκτέλεση
  1. Σε ένα μεγάλο τηγάνι προσθέστε περίπου τρεις κουταλιές ελαιόλαδο και σε μέτρια φωτιά σοτάρετε τη μελιτζάνα, κολοκυθάκια και πιπέρι μέχρι να μαλακώσουν.
  2. Αφαιρέστε τα και βάλτε τα στην άκρη.
  3. Στην ίδια κατσαρόλα προσθέστε δυο κουταλιές της σούπας ελαιόλαδο και σοτάρετε το κρεμμύδι και το σκόρδο μέχρι να μαλακώσουν.
  4. Ρίξτε το ¼ φλιτζάνι κρασί και ξύστε τον πάτο του τηγανιού.
  5. Αφήστε το να βράσει μέχρι το κρασί να εξατμιστεί σχεδόν πλήρως.
  6. Προσθέστε τον πελτέ και το κακάο και ανακατέψτε μέχρι να σχηματιστεί μια πάστα και το κακάο να καβουρδιστεί.
  7. Προσθέστε τη μελιτζάνα/κολοκυθάκια/πιπέρι, το ¼ φλιτζάνι νερό, το 1 φλιτζάνι χυμό ντομάτας, αλάτι, πιπέρι, την πάπρικα και τη ζάχαρη και αφήστε να βράσουν για περίπου 10 λεπτά.
  8. Προς το τέλος προσθέστε την σάλτσα στρειδιών και το υπόλοιπο ¼ φλιτζανιού κρασί.
  9. Εν τω μεταξύ ετοιμάστε τα τορτελλόνι και κρατήστε ½ φλιτζάνι από το νερό στο οποίο βράζουν.
  10. Όταν είναι σχεδόν έτοιμα, στραγγίστε τα και ρίξτε τα στη σάλτσα μαζί με το νερό ζυμαρικών.
  11. Ανακατέψτε απαλά και αφήστε να σιγοβράσουν για δύολεπτά.
  12. Σερβίρετε αμέσως.
Notes/ Σημειώσεις
Συνταγή εμπνευσμένη από το Bon Apetit


27 Responses to Tortelloni with Eggplant and Cocoa Sauce

  1. Εντάξει, με διέλυσες!!
    Πόσο νόστιμο φαίνεται να είναι αυτό το πιάτο και πόσο ιδιαίτερη η σάλτσα του!!

  2. 2
  3. Miz Helen says:

    What a great sauce, I can’t wait to try this recipe. Hope you are having a fantastic day and thanks so much for sharing with Full Plate Thursday!
    Come Back Soon,
    Miz Helen

  4. 3
  5. grace says:

    i don’t think i’ve ever used cocoa in something savory but i can understand how it would add depth and deliciousness! great dish!

  6. 4
  7. Sandra says:

    This dish looks rich with flavor. The sauce looks fabulous!

  8. 5
  9. gloria says:

    Katerina this sounds and look absolutely wonderful !

  10. 6
  11. Totally new to me and sounds so yum…

  12. 7
  13. What an interesting sauce. I love the quote from Aeschylus. How true. Looking forward to making this!

  14. 8
  15. Hadia says:

    Never thought of adding cocoa in the psata sauce. Looks delicious!

  16. 10
  17. Sissi says:

    Cocoa sounds like an amazing addition here. Reminds me of Mexican mole….I’m very curious to see how it tastes. The whole dish looks so good, I start thinking about a second dinner 😉

  18. 11
  19. 12
  20. Wow! This tortellini looks and sounds delicious. I would have never thought of adding cocoa to my sauce. Pure genius. I bet it tasted divine!

  21. 13
  22. Beth says:

    That’s the definition of a dysfunctional family! Thanks for sharing these wonderful tales with us – and, of course, your recipes too.

  23. 14
  24. GiGi Eats says:

    Oh this sounds and looks INSANELY good! INSANELY GOOD I tell you!!!

  25. 15
  26. Liz says:

    Yes, this sauce sounds divine—and intriguing with the cocoa and fish sauce! Lots of flavor!! Hope you’re having a lovely week, my friend. xo

  27. 16
  28. Kushi says:

    I am totally in love with the recipe. Looks so beautiful and delicious. Bookmarked!

  29. 17
  30. Pam says:

    Your lucky son, Katerina, for all your good stories.
    Agamemnon’s family is like the modern day dysfunctional family for sure. Ten years is a long time to wait for anyone, and then having to deal with Kassandra on top of it is way too much. The robe was definitely a unique way Clytemnestra dealt with her husband!
    I enjoyed reading this and the tortellini sounds great, love anything with eggplant!

  31. 18
  32. I recently reread The Illiad for the first time in years. Epic read! :-) Really excellent — great story, and so well told. Anyway, love this dish. Cocoa? Gotta try that! Thanks so much.

  33. 19
  34. Jennifer says:

    Your love for history is an unusual thing, Katerina – a gift! Interesting addition of cocoa to the sauce. Lovely amount of good, delicious veggies in this dish!

  35. 20
  36. Monica says:

    I’m so intrigued with the cocoa, not to mention oyster sauce in this dish! It must have some serious depth of flavor! I wish I could try right now!

  37. 21
  38. Juliana says:

    I have never added cocoa in savory dish…and you just inspired me to try…sounds delicious the way you described…great pasta dish Katerina!
    Have a wonderful week :)

  39. 22
  40. Oh really liking the sauce! I use cocoa in chili and it is great in mole, whit not in a pasta sauce. And the tortelloni look gorgeous.

  41. 23
  42. I’ve never put cocoa in my pasta sauce — but now I have to try it. This looks incredible.

  43. 24
  44. mia xara says:

    What a flavorful dish Katerina!!!I have tried cocoa in sauces and it really enhances the flavor! Have a great week, XOXO

  45. 25
  46. mjskitchen says:

    Fabulous pasta and I love that sauce. I’m with Angie on having some curiosity about the oyster sauce but I’m even more so curious about the cocoa powder. I’ve never seen it used in a pasta sauce. I use it in a mole. Now I’m going to have to give it a try. Thanks for an educational and delicious post!

  47. 26
  48. Sarah says:

    Cocoa powder is such an interesting ingredient to add to sauces- people can never tell what’s in there that makes it taste so good! Great post :)

  49. 27
  50. The sauce looks utterly delicious! Interesting that you used Chinese oyster sauce in this Italian dish. I must give it a try too.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


Rate this recipe: