Ahhh, weekends. Finally the sun has come out here in PA which calls for a relaxing lunch and vino on the patio with friends. The radicchio and then the shitake mushrooms caught my eye at the market so decided a pasta was in order for today. I love the waning days of summer, savoring every last ray of sunshine and spending every possible minute outdoors. And although my favorite season will soon come to an end, I plan to make it last as long as possible. So lunch and cocktails on the patio it is! My friends love being part of my taste tests and always love to offer advice on how to do the food photo shoots ….great fun especially after a glass of prosecco or two! This pasta comes together very easily and the creamy ricotta balances out the bite of the radicchio and the earthy taste of the mushrooms. We tried this with and without the ricotta and although without the ricotta is pretty tasty, the favorite was with the ricotta. I do have to confess that I had planned to serve this with a few fresh figs that were plump with flavor from my little potted fig tree – but we ate them before they made it to the pasta! Chuckle – guess I will have to add them next time! Enjoy…..
Wine pairing: I served a crisp, zesty white wine from Toscano – Vernaccia di San Gimignano – made from the well known Vernaccia grape grown in the hillsides of Tuscany. The tangy wine has hints of citrus and earth or mineral. Michelangelo is said to have described the wine he loved as one that “kisses, licks, bites, pinches and stings”. Well, then – have fun!
Pasta with Radicchio, Mushrooms and Ricotta
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon butter
1/2 small onion, finely chopped
2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
About 3 cups of mixed mushrooms, such as shitake and cremini, sliced
1/2 head radicchio, slices into thin ribbons
1/4 cup dry white wine
2 tablespoons fresh Italian parsley, finely chopped
Freshly ground black pepper
1/4 to 1/2 cup whole milk ricotta
1 pound penne (or pasta of your choice)
1. Bring large pot of salted water to a boil.
2. In a large frying pan, heat oil and butter over medium high heat. Add onion and garlic and saute until tender, about 5 minutes.
3. Add in the sliced mushrooms. Stir occasionally until tender and golden, about 5-8 minutes.
4. Add in the sliced radicchio and saute until wilted.
5. Add the 1/4 cup of white wine and saute until absorbed.
6. Season with the chopped parsley, then salt and pepper to taste.
7. Meanwhile, cook the pasta according to package directions until al dente. RESERVE 1/2 cup of the cooking water. Drain pasta.
8. Return the pasta to the pot. Stir in the mushroom-radicchio mixture. Add in the ricotta and 1/4 cup of the pasta cooking water. Stir to combine until creamy and pasta is coated. If too thick, add in more pasta water until desired consistency. Add more ricotta if not creamy enough.
9. Sprinkle with additional fresh chopped parsley and grated Parmigiano. Enjoy….