radicchio and chile pasta sauce

radicchio and chile pasta sauce

On the same page as the celery root gratin from some time ago, I found this intriguing recipe for a pasta sauce. The radicchio goes well with the bacon and the chiles add some background heat. However, the bitter taste from the radicchio is rather pronounced. Next time I'd use only one radicchio and add about half a head of kale. (Also, the red wine will stain the white parts of the radicchio. Should you make this for guests, maybe use white wine instead.)

radicchio and chile pasta sauce

Source: The River Cottage Cookbook by Hugh Fearnly-Whittingstall

serves 4


2 radicchio heads
about 3 ounces (2 thick slices) smoked pancetta or bacon
1 Tbsp olive oil
1/2 to 1 fresh red chili (depending on strength), finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1/2 wineglass of red wine
2/3 cup heavy cream
salt and freshly ground black pepper


Wash and coarsly shred the radicchio, as you would a cabbage. Trim the rind off the pancetta and then cut the pancetta into thick matchsticks. Fry it in the oil in a large frying pan for a few minutes, until lightly browned, then throw in the chili and garlic. Cook for just 1 minute, then pile in the radicchio, stirring so that it cooks and wilts but does not burn. The pan will seem overloaded at first, but the radicchio quickly reduces in volume. Add the wine and let it bubble for a few minutes until it has almost disappeared, then pour in the cream and simmer to reduce a little further, until the sauce is thick and glossy.
Season to taste with salt and pepper. Add the cooked, drained pasta (or add the sauce to the pasta dish, if your frying pan is too full) mix well, and heat through for 1 minute before serving.


Mary said...

This recipe has me intrigued. The ingredient combination is not one that's often seen. Interesting!

Joanne said...

Can you ever really go wrong with bacon? No. No you can't. I love radicchio but ahve never seen it in pasta! Great idea.

And yes you really need to try sweet potatoes!