Radicchio and bacon pasta recipe image

Print Radicchio and bacon pasta

Sweet onions, salty Parmesan, crisp, smoky bacon and a little cream temper radicchio’s pleasant bitterness. If you are particularly fond of its sharpness, use two heads rather than one. To save time, you could also omit the onion, adding a little garlic with the bacon instead.

Ingredients

  • 1 large onion, finely diced
  • 1–2 tbsp olive oil
  • 400 long pasta (linguine, spaghetti, fettuccine and pappardelle work well)
  • 25g butter
  • 250g smoked streaky bacon or pancetta, rind removed & cut into thin strips
  • 1 head of radicchio (about 150g), shredded
  • 50–100ml cream
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 80–100g Parmesan, finely grated
  • Flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped, to serve (optional)
  • Salt & pepper

Method

  1. In a heavy-bottomed pan over a medium heat, fry the onion in a tablespoon of the oil and the butter for 10 minutes, or until translucent. Add the bacon to the onion and continue to fry gently until the fat runs and it begins to colour. Add the radicchio, stir and cook for a minute or so, until collapsed, adding a little more oil if necessary.
  2. Meanwhile, cook the pasta according to the packet instructions. Just before the cooking time of the pasta is up, stir the cream into the radicchio, then add the lemon juice, a little at a time, tasting as you go. Add the Parmesan, season to taste, then toss the sauce with the drained pasta. Scatter over the parsley, if using.

Cooks notes

Variation * Add torn sage leaves to the bacon and cook for 2 minutes before adding the radicchio. * Add blue cheese or fried mushrooms with the cream.


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