To make this rich pasta, chef Nancy Silverton sautés guanciale (cured pork jowl) and then cooks the radicchio and red onions in the rendered fat. She likes to use a little-known pasta called calamarata—which looks like thick squid rings—to catch the sauce, but any wide, tubular pasta is great.
Slideshow: More Pasta Recipes
1/2 pound calamarata or other short, wide tubular pasta
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
3 medium red onions, cut into 8 wedges each
6 ounces guanciale or pancetta, cut into 1/4-inch dice
3/4 cup freshly grated Pecorino Romano cheese
1/4 small head of radicchio, torn into 2-inch pieces
Freshly ground pepper
1/3 cup fresh ricotta cheese
1/4 cup chopped walnuts
How to Make It
In a large pot of salted boiling water, cook the pasta until al dente, about 8 minutes. Drain the pasta, reserving 1/2 cup of the cooking water.
Meanwhile, in a large, straight-sided skillet, heat the 1/4 cup of olive oil. Add the onions, season with salt and toss to coat with the oil. Cook over high heat until the onions are just beginning to soften, about 1 minute. Stir in 3/4 cup of water and cook until the water is evaporated and the onions are just tender, about 6 minutes. Stir in the guanciale and cook, stirring, until the fat is rendered and the guanciale is lightly browned and crisp, about 7 minutes.
Carefully drain off all but 2 tablespoons of the fat from the skillet. Stir in the pasta along with the pecorino, radicchio and the reserved pasta water. Cook over high heat, stirring constantly, until hot, about 1 minute. Season the pasta with salt and pepper and top with dollops of the ricotta. Transfer the pasta to a large serving dish, sprinkle with the walnuts and top with a drizzle of olive oil. Serve immediately.
Lively Sangiovese-based Montefalco Rosso is a great contrast for rich dishes like this one.
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