Orecchiette, roast radicchio, pear and gorgonzola

Orecchiette, roast radicchio, pear and gorgonzola

By
From
The Sunday Night Book
Serves
3
Photographer
Patricia Niven

Radicchio gets a bit of a raw deal, I think. It tends to get put into salad mixes because it’s hardy and won’t spoil as quickly as some other leaves. Although this wonderfully bitter leaf does work fabulously in salads, especially with cheese or a rich dressing as its foil, I particularly like it roasted. It works brilliantly as an accompaniment to grilled fish and meat, or thrown in with a pot-roast chicken – one of my regular weeknight dishes is a roast radicchio and red wine risotto. For this warming bowl of pasta, a rich velvety sauce is given punch and crunch with some roast radicchio, pear and rosemary. Viva the purple leaf!

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
1 small head radicchio
2 pears
small sprig rosemary
2 tablespoons light olive oil
1 shallot, finely sliced
2 tablespoons sherry vinegar
100ml white wine
120ml vegetable or chicken stock
100g gorgonzola
180ml creme fraiche
270g orecchiette
sea salt
black pepper

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 200°C.
  2. Trim the radicchio, cut in half through the core and cut each half into six wedges. Peel, core and quarter the pears. Strip the leaves from the rosemary sprig and chop them. Spread all three across a large baking tray and drizzle over the olive oil. Season well with salt and pepper and give the whole lot a good mix around, then roast in the oven for 10 minutes or until the radicchio is soft and floppy and the pears have a little colour.
  3. Meanwhile, put the shallot in a pan with the sherry vinegar over a medium heat and let it bubble until the vinegar has completely evaporated. Add the wine and reduce by two thirds, then add the stock and simmer until reduced by half. Crumble in the gorgonzola and stir until it has melted. Add the crème fraîche and season with pepper. Simmer for 5 minutes, then use a stick blender (or upright blender) to blend to a smooth sauce.
  4. Bring a large pan of salted water to the boil and cook the orecchiette as instructed on the packet. Drain the pasta and return it to the pan, then pour in the sauce. Stir over a very low heat, just to combine, then check the seasoning and finally add the roast radicchio and pear. Serve in warm bowls.
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