This week on Good Food, Laura Avery interviews Amelia Saltsman, author of The Santa Monica Farmers’ Market Cookbook about her inspiration this week at the market. Amelia put together a simple yet delicious meal with just a few ingredients – perfect for a week night meal. Keep reading for her recipe for Penne with Radicchio, Onions, Cheese, and Cream…
Penne with Radicchio, Onions, Cheese, and Cream
Radicchio has a pleasant bitterness when raw, with sweet background notes during winter and early spring. When cooked, the flavor balances flip; sweetness dominates and bitter notes recede, giving a pleasing complexity to this simple dish. Walnut oil makes an easy, healthy, finishing touch. You can substitute other chicories, such as escarole, or use Swiss chard or kale. Radicchio pairs really well with nutty cheeses. I used cave-aged Marisa, a sheep’s milk hard cheese, from Andrew’s Cheese Shop in Santa Monica.
¾ pound penne
1 brown onion, chopped
1 head radicchio, about ¼ pound, roughly chopped
1 tablespoon olive oil
Splash of white wine, optional
¼ to ½ pound cooked chicken or sausage, torn or cut into bite-size pieces, optional
½ cup heavy cream
¼ pound cheese, such as Emmenthaler, Gruyere, or Fontina, or sheep’s milk cheese, grated or cut into ½-inch chunks
¼ cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
Kosher or sea salt
Freshly ground black or white pepper
Snipped chives, optional
Put a large pot of water on to boil. In a wide pan or pot large enough to hold the cooked noodles, sauté onion in olive oil over medium heat until softened, 5 to 7 minutes. Add radicchio, a generous sprinkle of salt, and a few grindings of pepper. Reduce heat to medium-low and cook until radicchio is wilted and tender, about 5 minutes. Add a splash of wine to pan if you have it, and cook for a minute or two. If you’re including cooked meat, add it now. Add cream, and raise heat back to medium. Cook until cream starts to bubble and reduce, about 2 minutes. Turn off heat and stir in cheeses to melt.
Meanwhile, cook the penne in generously salted boiling water. Drain, leaving penne a bit wet, and add the noodles to the sauce. (Tip: use a large “spider” to transfer noodles directly from their cooking pot to the sauce.) Cook over medium-low heat until penne are nicely coated with sauce, 2 to 3 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Serve in bowls with a drizzle of walnut oil, extra pepper, finishing salt, and a shower of snipped chives.
Makes 4 servings
© 2012, Amelia Saltsman.