Radicchio isn’t shy; it’s downright acerbic. “The tonic bitterness, however, is extremely agreeable as a contrast to rich or fatty flavors,” as Barbara Kafka deftly put it. That’s the best description of my most recent standby dinner quickie, pasta with Taleggio and radicchio adapted from a La Cucina Italiana recipe.
Pasta + Cheese + Vegetable = one of those sacred culinary formulas for the home cook. Balancing work, family and household requires an inventory of versatile techniques for spontaneous meal-making. The two components of this recipe, cheese fondue and sautéed radicchio, can easily be transformed into different fare.
The radicchio can become a side dish or the base for a risotto. The fonduta of Taleggio and milk makes a tangy cheese sauce with no limit of application. Or substitute the Taleggio with Gorgonzola or Fontina, and you have another dinner in creation.
Just like these broccoli pasta recipes here and here, this dish is about making a quick yet satisfying meal that wins at the battle table. With molten cheese and chopped radicchio, even a two-year-old doesn’t find anything to protest about. Especially if using a funny pasta shape like fusili.
FYI the pan pictured is a Mauviel M’Cook Rondeau. It is hands down the hardest working of the wedding presents I received, just in case you need some inspiration.