Pasticcio

Pasticcio di pappardelle al radicchio rosso di Treviso (Baked Pappardelle with Treviso Radicchio)

In pasta, primi piatti, Veneto by Frank Fariello26 Comments

Pappardelle, those extra-wide egg noodles typical of Tuscany, are perhaps my favorite pasta. There’s something about wide noodles—I love Chinese ho fun noodles, too—that are especially enticing. Perhaps the most well-known pappardelle dishes are sulla lepre (with braised hare) and al cinghiale (wild boar)—but pappardelle are quite versatile and, I find, go especially well with radicchio rosso. And the slightly bitter taste of radicchio marries very well with creamy sauces, the sweetness of which tend to balance out flavors. Put this all together and you have this elegant but simple dish.

Ingredients

Makes enough for 4 persons as a primo or 2 very hungry persons as a piatto unico.

  • 125g (4 oz) pappardelle

For the radicchio:

  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 200g (8 oz or 1-1/2 cups) radicchio, preferably radicchio rosso di Treviso, chopped (see Notes)
  • Red wine
  • Salt and pepper
  • Butter

For the sauce:

  • 500ml (2 cups) of béchamel sauce, rather thin
  • 250ml (1 cup) heavy cream
  • 100g (1 cup) grated Parmesan cheese

Directions

You begin with a simple soffritto of onion in butter and olive oil, into which you add the chopped radicchio (preferably radicchio rosso di Treviso—see Notes below), seasoning with salt and pepper and turning to let the radicchio absorb the flavor of the onion over moderate heat. When the radicchio is well wilted (and it will turn color to a kind of burnt sienna) then adding a splash of red wine and allow it to evaporate, then add water or broth, enough to wet all the ingredients well without covering them.  Cover and allow to braise about 15 minutes or longer, until the radicchio is tender and the liquid well reduced. (Some recipes call for a simmering time as long as 45 minutes.)

While the radiccchio is braising, make the béchamel sauce. Add the heavy cream and grated parmesan cheese and, when done, the radicchio and its braising liquid. Mix well.

Cook your pappardelle in abundant salted water and, when they are still a quite underdone, add them to the béchamel, cheese and radicchio mixture. The mixture should be quite soupy—remembering that the sauce will simmer and reduce and get absorbed by the pasta during the next step.

Pour the mixture into a oven-proof casserole or gratin dish, top with more grated parmesan cheese, and bake in a very hot oven (230C/450F) for about 20 minutes, or until it is lightly browned on top. Allow to cool off for 5 minutes or so before serving.

Pasticcio (plated)

Notes

Radicchio is a variety of chicory, with white-veined burgundy-colored leaves. It comes is two main varieties: radicchio di Chioggia, which comes in round, cabbage-like heads, and radicchio di Treviso, which comes in long, tapered heads. The radicchio di Treviso has a more tender texture and, to my taste, a finer flavor. The latter are harder to find (at least in the US) and more expensive, but well worth seeking out. But if you can’t find them, the radicchio di Chioggia will do fine for this dish—however, since their leaves are less tender, it will take longer for them to cook to the right point of doneness. This is not a dish where you want your vegetable to be crunchy.Pappardelle are widely imported and fairly easy to find commercially, even in supermarkets. But if you can’t find them near you—or if you want to—they are relatively easy to make at home. Just make egg pasta dough in the usual way, roll it out rather thinly and cut them into 2-3cm (3/4-1 in.) wide strips. Pasta machines and attachments do not usually come with cutting blades wide enough, so you’ll need to roll up the sheets of pasta and cut them with a knife, but it’s quite easy to do.

Béchamel sauce, despite its French origins, is commonly used in central and northern Italian cooking, especially for baked pasta dishes. For example, baked lasagne in Rome and points north, more often than not, contain béchamel. (Southern lasagne usually come with a ricotta, egg and cheese mixture instead.) It is called besciamella (or, sometimes, balsamella) in Italian, although you will see recipes that simply use the French term. Some Italian authorities (like Giuliano Bugialli) maintain that béchamel was invented by Italians, derived from the Florentine salsa colla and, like some many things, reputed to have been brought to France by Caterina de’ Medici.

Radicchio marries well with pork. You can add bits of pancetta or mild sausage to the soffritto at the beginning if you would like an even more substantial dish. They also go nicely with mushrooms, especially wild ones, which I would recommend you sauté separately and add to the mixture before baking.

The term pasticcio, by the way, comes from the same root as the French (and English) pastiche, meaning a mixture of different pieces or ingredients. In Italian cooking, it often refers to a baked pasta dish like this one, in which the pasta is mixed with béchamel , cheese and some sort of condimento and then gratinéed in a hot oven. But it also refers to a savory pie that can be made with vegetable or meats. Colloquially, the word can mean a ‘mess’, as in ‘Che pasticcio!’ (What a mess!) or ‘Bel pasticcio!’ (A fine mess!). And if you find yourself ‘nei pasticci’, that means you’re ‘in a fix’.
Perhaps even more common than as a pasticcio, pappardelle and radicchio are also very nice without the final gratinée. Instead of béchamel, simply add ample heavy cream to the braised radicchio and, when your pasta is cooked, add it to the skillet with the radicchio and cream, mixing well with grated parmesan cheese, and serve.
Pasticcio di pappardelle al radicchio rosso di Treviso (Baked Pappardelle with Treviso Radicchio)

Rating: 51

Total Time: 1 hour

Yield: Enough for 4 as a first course, 2 as a piatto unico

Pasticcio di pappardelle al radicchio rosso di Treviso (Baked Pappardelle with Treviso Radicchio)

Ingredients

  • 125g (4 oz) pappardelle
  • For the radicchio:
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 200g (8 oz or 1-1/2 cups) radicchio, preferably radicchio rosso di Treviso, chopped (see Notes)
  • Red wine
  • Salt and pepper
  • Butter
  • For the sauce:
  • 500ml (2 cups) of béchamel sauce, rather thin
  • 250ml (1 cup) heavy cream
  • 100g (1 cup) grated Parmesan cheese

Directions

  1. You begin with a simple soffritto of onion in butter and olive oil, into which you add the chopped radicchio (preferably radicchio rosso di Treviso—see Notes below), seasoning with salt and pepper and turning to let the radicchio absorb the flavor of the onion over moderate heat. When the radicchio is well wilted (and it will turn color to a kind of burnt sienna) then adding a splash of red wine and allow it to evaporate, then add water or broth, enough to wet all the ingredients well without covering them. Cover and allow to braise about 15 minutes or longer, until the radicchio is tender and the liquid well reduced. (Some recipes call for a simmering time as long as 45 minutes.)
  2. While the radiccchio is braising, make the béchamel sauce. Add the heavy cream and grated parmesan cheese and, when done, the radicchio and its braising liquid. Mix well.
  3. Cook your pappardelle in abundant salted water and, when they are still a quite underdone, add them to the béchamel, cheese and radicchio mixture. The mixture should be quite soupy—remembering that the sauce will simmer and reduce and get absorbed by the pasta during the next step.
  4. Pour the mixture into a oven-proof casserole or gratin dish, top with more grated parmesan cheese, and bake in a very hot oven (230C/450F) for about 20 minutes, or until it is lightly browned on top. Allow to cool off for 5 minutes or so before serving.
Schema/Recipe SEO Data Markup by ZipList Recipe Plugin
http://memoriediangelina.com/2009/10/17/pasticcio-di-pappardelle-al-radicchio-rosso-di-treviso/
Frank FarielloPasticcio di pappardelle al radicchio rosso di Treviso (Baked Pappardelle with Treviso Radicchio)

Comments

  1. Pingback: Turkey Tetrazzini

  2. Pingback: Barchette di radicchio (Manu's Radicchio “Boats” Filled with Mascarpone, Gorgonzola and Glazed

  3. Frank

    Thanks, everyone, for the kind comments! So glad you enjoyed the recipe and if you do try it, let us know what you think!

    Cheers
    Frank

  4. JoMontreal

    This recipe looks so yummy! (And I agree completely about the wide noodles.) Thanks for sharing it!

  5. Miranda

    First of all, Congrats on making top 9!!
    Second, I saved this recipe. I can't WAIT to make it…It looks so comforting and tasty!!!!

    Heads up: I am offering a flavored Olive Oil and Vinegar Gift Box at my site….

    Take Care.

  6. Jessie

    wow this looks extremely hearty, comforting and delicious! I never had pappardelle but I can imagine it is just as good as any other pasta!

  7. Joy

    The moment I saw the photo my mouth began watering. Yay! Vegetarian, and such a lovely recipe. Thankyou!

  8. Claudia

    I am bookmarking this – very delicious. I also love pappardelle noodles – so satisfying. I've never done anything like this – my radicchio is always in salads and soups. Thanks so much.

Leave a Comment