A member of the bitter chicory family, radicchio doesn't often get the spotlight on your weekly menu. It's usually added as a contrasting component to a salad - it adds color and a distinctive flavor to balance out the milder greens. And in that context, a little goes a long way. But to truly appreciate the bite of radicchio, try braising it with smoky bacon in a flavorful broth to showcase this bitter beauty. It's totally rad!
Pasta with Braised Radicchio
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
3 cloves garlic, slivered
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
4 oz thick-sliced bacon, diced
2 large heads radicchio, cored and sliced
2 cups low-sodium chicken or veggie broth
1 pound whole-wheat linguine or spaghetti
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese, divided
1/3 cup toasted chopped walnuts
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil for the pasta.
Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-low heat. Add bacon and cook, stirring, until browned and crispy. Add garlic and crushed red pepper. Cook, stirring, until tender and fragrant but not brown, 30 to 60 seconds. Add radicchio, increase heat to medium and cook, turning with tongs, until wilted, 4 to 5 minutes. Season with salt & pepper.
Pour in broth and bring to a simmer. Reduce heat to low and simmer, uncovered, until radicchio is tender, about 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, cook pasta in a pot of boiling salted water until al dente, 8 to 10 minutes. Drain and add to radicchio sauce. Add 1/4 cup Parmesan; toss to coat. Taste and adjust seasonings.
Top with walnuts and serve immediately, passing remaining ¼ cup Parmesan separately.