This is a very easy dish to make, with unique and interesting flavours. There are really three ingredients here, all with different textures and functions in the dish. The radicchio adds flavour, for it’s slightly bitter and spicy, but most impressively for its colour. The pine nuts are toasted to a nutty, rich smell and taste, and they add a much-needed crunch. The fresh basil adds complexity at the end of cooking. A simple masterpiece!
PASTA WITH RADICCHIO, TOASTED PINE NUTS, & FRESH BASIL
900g pasta, cooked al dente
1 Radicchio, thinly sliced
1 cup Pine Nuts, toasted
1 cup Fresh Basil
3 cloves Garlic, minced
1/2 large White Onion, minced
Kosher Salt & Fresh Pepper, to taste
Over high heat, fill a stock pot with water and add a good dose of Kosher Salt. Bring to a boil, and cook pasta until al dente, as per package instructions. When draining, reserve about 1/2 cup of boiled, salty water for tossing pasta later.
In a small saucepan over medium heat, add the pine nuts. Toast until they are golden brown and you can smell the nutty flavour, about 5 minutes. Stir often to prevent burning. Once cooked, remove from heat and reserve.
Chop the whole Radicchio, Garlic, and White Onion. Set aside.
Chiffonade the Basil, and set aside.
Into a large saucepan over medium high heat, add about 1/8 cup of EVOO. Into the pan, add both the garlic and the onion. Sautee until the onion is transparent, about 5 minutes.
Add the radicchio, and sautee until nicely wilted, about 5 minutes.
Into the saucepan, add the cooked pasta, and the reserved boiled water. Toss. Add the toasted pine nuts, and a few drizzles of EVOO. Toss. Season with salt and fresh pepper. Toss again. Add the fresh basil, reserving a pinch for plating.
To serve, scoop into bowls and then sprinkle a little fresh basil and a drizzle of EVOO on top.
Mangia! Let’s Eat!