Start the New Year with a “Sophisticated Yet Simple” Radicchio Pasta

We splurged on great meals over the holidays: roast goose stuffed with apples and dried fruit; mushroom and ricotta ravioli drizzled with our Limited Reserve olive oil; and a chocolate-laden Buche de Noel. With the arrival of the New Year, we’re ready to return to simpler dishes. The fettuccine with radicchio featured below is a good start.

radicchio pastaRadicchio is in season here in California. It’s a colorful and flavorful member of the chicory family.

“When it’s not festooning salad bowls, this indelibly Italian vegetable is sensational grilled or sautéed, mixed into pasta sauces and risottos, or simply dipped in bagna cauda, the celebrated hot anchovy-olive oil dip of Italy’s Piedmont,” Christopher Hirsheimer and Peggy Knickerbocker write in their book The San Francisco Ferry Plaza Farmers’ Market Cookbook (Chronicle Books, 2006), where the pasta recipe appears.

Hirsheimer and Knickerbocker describe radicchio’s taste as “refined and sophisticated.” Similarly, they call the pasta dish “sophisticated, yet simple.” (Click here to see the recipe.)

To begin, sauté pancetta or bacon in extra virgin olive oil until browned. Add a chopped onion, followed by the radicchio, which is cooked until wilted. Save a cup of the water used to cook the pasta. Toss the drained pasta with the radicchio mixture and some of the reserved pasta water to make a sauce-like consistency.

The final touch: Drizzle each individual serving with some extra virgin olive oil.

Bon appétit,

Your friends at California Olive Ranch