Pasta with radicchio two ways
Pasta is a comfort foods that I turn to again and again. I have learned to make simple pasta dishes with only a couple of ingredients that taste good and leave you satisfied. This particular dish makes use of the purple radicchio that we usually tear or shred into into a salad. It has a slightly bitter taste and a sturdy texture that stand up to a quick saute and goes particularly well with simple spaghetti, olive oil and parmesan or pecorino.
There are two ways to make this pasta: plain or in a cream sauce. I am giving you both options here so suit yourself. I like mine plain, my husband likes it with cream.
To make it plain I put the pasta to boil and begin to saute a shallot or onion and then add the radicchio. By the time the pasta is cooked the radicchio is ready and I add the pasta to the radicchio skillet and toss it for a minute or two to combine the flavours. I usually add a little of the pasta cooking water to create a bit of a sauce. A grating of parmesan or pecorino and the dish is done.
To make it with cream add 1/2 cup cream to the radicchio when it’s almost finished cooking and before you add the pasta. then add the pasta and toss to combine, adding a little of the pasta cooking water as necessary to thin the sauce a bit. One thing: if you plan tio use cream then saute the radicchio in butter, not in olive oil. it’s one of those things in Italian cooking. No olive oil and cream.
8 oz spaghetti
Salt for the spaghetti water
2 tablespoons olive oil or butter
1 small onion
1 small radicchio, shredded
1/2 cup cream if using
A handful flat leaf parsley, chopped
Plenty of shaved parmesan
Bring a pot of water to a boil, add salt and then add the spaghetti.
Cook the spaghetti according to the package directions or to your taste until al dente.
As the pasta is cooking saute the onion in the butter or oil until softened but not browned.
Add the shredded radicchio and cook, tossing it with tongs until wilted and cooked through.
Add the cream if you are using it and bring to a boil.
When the pasta is ready transfer it to the skillet with the radicchio and toss with tongs. Let it cook together for a couple of minutes until the pasta thickens the sauce.
Add the parsley and parmesan.
Pile the pasta into pasta bowls and shave extra parmesan on top.
Serve at once.