radicchio, mushroom, and three cheese baked pasta

I have some weird quirks when it comes to ordering when we are out to eat. First of all, I really dislike it when more than one person orders the same thing, but that's a whole separate issue for another post. Secondly, I don't like to order dishes that I can easily prepare myself. For example, I probably wouldn't order cacio e pepe at a restaurant since I know how easy it is to make at home. Because of this little rule of mine, I end up trying new flavor combinations, and more often than not, the new flavors get stuck in my head for awhile, until I try my own hand at them.  That's exactly what happened with this dish. 

I've tasted a few different pasta dishes before that incorporated the bitterness of radicchio. I loved the combination of the sharp bite with a good creamy cheese. So for Wine Night a few weeks ago, I set out to make my own version, choosing techniques and ingredients from a few different sources and melding them into one stand out recipe. 

This dish, at its core, is mac and cheese. With the additions of savory mushrooms and bitter radicchio, and an emphasis on three distinct cheeses, it is elevated to something phenomenal and seemingly grown up. We devoured it.

Additionally, in an effort to appease a request by my father in law, we have tried to focus more on our wine pairings for Wine Night. Arrivederci magnums of Cabernet sauvignon! For this meal, Al did some research and urged us to drink a sweet, white Gew├╝rztraminer. I'm always a little hesitant about sweet wines, so we also got a bottle of one of my favorite reds, Pinot Project to sample along with it. Turns out, we liked the sweeter white with the meal. It really complimented the sharp flavors of the dish. We found ourselves rotating, bite, sip, bite, sip to get the great effect of everything paired together.

Whether it's a regular old Thursday or a meal for company, this recipe one you should really try. And have a little wine pairing taste test of your own!

Radicchio, Mushroom, & Three Cheese Baked Pasta

Recipe by Katie Rose for The Rose Record
Serves:  4 - 6

  • 1 pound medium shell pasta
  • 3 oz. fresh shitake mushroom caps, cleaned and trimmed, and sliced ¼ inch thick
  • 3 oz. pancetta, cut into ½ inch pieces
  • 5 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 heads radicchio, finely shredded/sliced
  • Salt and pepper
  • 2 teaspoons (5 leaves) fresh sage, chopped
  • 2 cups half and half
  • ½ cup Parmesan cheese, grated
  • ¾ cup shredded Gruyere
  • ½ cup crumbled gorgonzola
  • Pinch grated nutmeg
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees
  2. Boil salted water.  Boil the shells about ¾ way of al dente time on the box. Reserve ½ cup pasta water just in case.
  3. In large skillet, heat 3 tablespoons butter and 1 tablespoon olive oil.
  4. Add pancetta and cook until the fat begins to render and the meat begins to brown, about 4 minutes.
  5. Once the pancetta begins to brown, add mushrooms and pinch of salt. Saut├ę over medium heat, stirring frequently until pancetta is cooked through and mushrooms have softened, about 3 to 5 minutes.
  6. Using a slotted spoon, transfer mushroom mixture to plate lined with paper towel. Leave most of the fat in the pan. If you have a lot, wipe a little out with a towel.
  7. Add sliced radicchio to skillet and cook until just beginning to brown, about 3 minutes.
  8. Add minced garlic, season with salt and pepper, and cook until radicchio caramelizes, about 4 more minutes.
  9. In a large bowl, combine mushroom mixture, radicchio mixture, cream, cheeses, nutmeg and sage. Season with salt and pepper.
  10. Add cooked shells to the bowl and toss to combine. Use reserved pasta water to thin sauce if needed.
  11. Divide pasta mixture to 6 gratin dishes (or one large casserole dish) that have been lightly sprayed with non-stick spray. Dot with remaining 1 tablespoon of butter and bake until bubbly and brown and the sauce thickens a little, about 10 minutes
Nutrition (per serving, with 6 total servings for recipe)
Calories:  657          Carbs:  62          Fat:  36          Protein:  24


{photos and recipe © The Rose Record}

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