This is so good. Really. The flavors definitely create a party in your mouth. The saltiness of the pancetta., the slight bite of the radicchio, and the creaminess of the mascarpone cheese or crème fraîche all meld together deliciously. And the cavatappi pasta is the perfect shape for the ingredients to cling to. If you can’t find cavatappi, you can easily substitute another shape of pasta such as fusilli.
Cavatappi with Pancetta and Wilted Radicchio
- 12 ounces cavatappi pasta
- 1-3 heads radicchio (depends on size), thinly sliced (4 cups sliced)
- ½ cup walnut pieces, lightly tasted in a dry pan and roughly chopped
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 4-6 ounces diced pancetta
- 1 clove garlic, minced, grated, or crushed
- zest of 1 Meyer lemon (about 1½ – 2 teaspoons)
- juice from ½ Meyer lemon (1 tablespoon)
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme
- 8 ounces mascarpone cheese or crème fraîche (or a combination of the two)
- Kosher salt and coarse ground black pepper
- ¼ cup chopped flat-leaf parsley
- Shavings of manchego cheese (can substitute Parmesan) for serving
- Cook the pasta according to the package directions, approximately 9 minutes. Reserve some of the starchy cooking liquid, drain, and set aside.
- In a large skillet with fairly deep sides, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the pancetta and cook until just becoming lightly browned, about 5 minutes.
- To the pancetta, add the garlic, radicchio, Meyer lemon zest and juice, walnuts, and thyme. Stir for about 2 minutes, or until the radicchio has wilted.
- Stir in the mascarpone cheese or crème fraîche, stir to combine, and remove from the heat.
- Add the pasta to the skillet along with some of the cooking liquid, and combine well with the radicchio-pancetta mixture.
- Season with salt and pepper and sprinkle with the parsley.
- Top with manchego cheese shaving and serve
© 2015 Kitchen Serendipity