Whip up a pot of this delicious radicchio pasta made complete with zingy goat cheese and savory parmesan cheese!
Sometimes pasta needs an extra oomph, and that can only be achieved with the addition of certain veggies and mix-ins. How about radicchio?
Today we’re whipping up a delicious and savory radicchio pasta dish made with fresh, crunchy, bright purple leaves that add a unique and delicious bitter undertone. Top that with zingy goat cheese and some savory parmesan, and oh boy. You’re in for a treat!
Radicchio is typically referred to as a lettuce, though it’s actually a chicory vegetable used in many Italian dishes. It’s very bitter, but certain methods can take the bitterness down a notch!
While we will be soaking and cooking the radicchio to remove much of that bitter taste, these methods won’t remove it all. I recommend serving this as an adult-only meal, as kiddos don’t always favor it! While adults typically like bitter flavors (like coffee and beer), you’ll likely see some uneaten plates if you serve this to kids. Fair warning!
Ingredients in radicchio goat cheese pasta
This radicchio pasta is made complete with the addition of rich flavorings like garlic, salt, and red pepper flakes. Together, the flavor of this meal is booming!
- Pasta: First up, you’ll need 1 lb of bow tie pasta. Of course, any other shape will work just as well!
- Radicchio Lettuce: For the radicchio portion of the recipe, use 2 medium-sized heads.
- Oil: Olive oil will be used to cook the radicchio, which helps to remove some of the distinct bitterness.
- Garlic: We’ll use 2 cloves of minced garlic to add extra pungent flavor (the good kind!).
- Salt: Next, use ½ tsp of salt to flavor the dish and further reduce the bitterness of the radicchio.
- Pepper: Follow that with ¼ tsp of ground black pepper, and ¼ tsp of red pepper flakes! You can add extra if you like spiciness.
- Cheese: Finally, finish the dish with 4 oz of soft goat cheese and some fresh shaved parmesan.
How to make radicchio pasta
Radicchio pasta comes together much like any pasta dish. We’ll start by cooking the noodles, and then we’ll sauté the radicchio, add the flavorings, and mix together. The whole process takes about 30 minutes.
Step 1: Cook the pasta
First, bring a pot of heavily salted water to a boil and cook the pasta according to the instructions on the package. It will need to be al dente. Reserve ½ cup of the pasta water for later.
Step 2: Prep the radicchio
Cut each radicchio in half lengthwise, then cut out the stem. Lay the halves flat side down, and then cut into strips. To help remove the bitterness at this point, soak the leaves in water for 15 minutes.
Step 3: Sauté the radicchio
Heat the oil in a large sauté pan over medium heat. Add the garlic and sliced radicchio. Cook until the radicchio wilts down, about 5 minutes. Sautéing is another crucial step in helping to reduce the sharp bitterness of the radicchio.
Step 4: Add the flavorings
Add the spices, goat cheese, and leftover pasta water. Stir to evenly combine.
Step 5: Combine and serve
Stir the radicchio mixture into the drained pasta and serve warm. Top generously with fresh grated parmesan and balsamic vinegar (or balsamic reduction).
Want to add to your pasta for even more flavor and oomph? These ingredients all make great additions.
- Fresh veggies, like cherry tomatoes, broccoli, or asparagus
- Crunchy nuts, like walnuts, pecans, or pistachios
- Pops of flavor, like dried cranberries or raisins
More pasta? Yes, please!
When it doubt, pasta it up! Here are some delicious ways to elevate your plain old sauce and noodle combos into flavorful dishes.
- Mushroom Stroganoff
- Sweet Potato Fettuccini in Gorgonzola Sauce
- Stovetop Butternut Squash Mac and Cheese
- Vegetable Bolognese
- 1 lb farfalle pasta aka bow tie pasta, 450 g
- 2 medium heads radicchio
- 2 Tbsp oil 30 mL
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- ½ tsp salt
- ¼ tsp ground black pepper
- ¼ tsp red pepper flakes
- 4 oz soft goat cheese 225 g
- Pasta: Bring heavily salted water to a boil and cook according to package instructions until pasta is al dente. Reserve ½ cup of water that the pasta cooked in.
- Cut Radicchio: Meanwhile, trim root from each radicchio, then cut in half lengthwise. Lay flatside down, then cut into strips. To help remove bitterness at this point, you can soak the leaves in water for 15 minutes.
- Saute: Heat oil in a large saute pan over medium heat. Add the garlic and sliced radicchio. Cook until radicchio wilts down, about 5 minutes.
- Flavor: Add spices, goat cheese, and reserved ½ cup of pasta water. Stir to evenly combine.
- Serve: Stir radicchio mixture into drained pasta and serve warm. Top generously with fresh grated parmesan and balsamic oil (or reduction).