Pasta with Guanciale, Radicchio and Ricotta

Serving Size: 6
Total Time:

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


  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.

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Recipe Credit: Nancy Silverton
Image Credit: John Kernick