If your looking for a quick, delicious and nutritious meal, please give this recipe a try. I try to always have radicchio in the house for use in salads, but it also gives me the opportunity to make this dish any time I am looking for something quick and easy. I always have the other ingredients needed on hand, so I can whip this up in a jiffy whenever I desire it.
The source of this recipe is quite unlikely. My Aunt Mary (well actually I had three Aunt Marys…. remember, I am Italian) This Aunt Mary that I am referring to is a spectacular cook to this day. The reason I find this recipe unlikely to have come from her is that growing up, she was a very traditional Italian cook. We spent all our holidays with Aunt Mary and Uncle Joe and my three cousins, eating the delicious food prepared by either Little Nonni, Aunt Mary or my mother. Aunt Mary was amazing in that she worked a full time job as a business woman (very unusual in the 50s and 60s), and yet was able to prepare a full Holiday or Sunday meal. She had one foot in the next generation, in that she was always trying new recipes and loved to barbecue. She was a master at the grill, standing there for hours turning different varieties of Italian sausage, while we waited anxiously with crusty Italian rolls in hand. Meanwhile, in her kitchen she would have also prepared Sunday gravy, a roast, several vegetables, salad and Italian pastries. When Aunt Mary cooked, they came from far and wide. You never knew who was going to show up, and it was always a cast of characters. Her daughter was a very big help to her, and we all learned from Aunt Mary. She was a big influence on the next generation of woman in our family. She was the first woman in my life who showed me that “you can have it all.” However, she left out the “but it’s not so easy” part.
So I suppose this recipe should not have come as such a surprise when she made it for us one evening at their Florida condo. She was older then, but still always interested in what was new in the culinary world. That very night, after delighting in this meal, I grabbed a piece of paper, wrote down what she had done, and have enjoyed this pasta dish over and over again for many years.
I have a feeling you may add this to your regular repertoire of quick dinners. This entire dish can be made in the time that it takes for the pasta to boil to aldente.
1 pound penne or penne rigate
2 heads of radicchio, roughly sliced or shredded.
1 medium onion, chopped
3/4 cup white wine
3 Tbsp. olive oil
2 Tbsp. butter
1 tsp. salt
freshly ground pepper to taste
freshly grated Pecorino Romano or Parmigiano Reggiano cheese
1. Put up a large pot of salted water for the pasta.
2. Saute the onion in the melted butter and oil until soft.
3. Add the radicchio and wine, salt and pepper. Cook until the radicchio is soft and cooked through, about 10 minutes.
4. Before draining the pasta, reserve 1 cup of the pasta water. Add 1/3 cup of this water to the radicchio and let cook for a minute or two.
5. Drain the pasta and add to the pan with the radicchio. Add more water if needed and a little of the grated cheese and stir well. Or you can combine everything in a large serving bowl.
6. Serve with grated cheese.