Pasta with Guanciale, Radicchio and Ricotta
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.
- 0.5 Pound calamarata or other short, wide tubular pasta
- 0.33 cup fresh ricotta cheese
- freshly ground pepper
- 0.25 small head of radicchio, torn into 2-inch pieces
- 0.75 cup freshly grated Pecorino Romano cheese
- 6 Ounce guanciale or pancetta, cut into 1/4-inch dice
- kosher salt
- 3 medium red onions, cut into 8 wedges each
- 0.25 cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
- 0.25 cup chopped walnut
- 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.
Recipe Credit: Nancy Silverton
Image Credit: John Kernick