Rustic Pasta Tricolore
This is a festive, colorful and tasty pasta dish that looks as good as it tastes. With red, green and white ingredients (tomato, basil, and cheese), it displays the three colors of the Italian flag, affectionately referred to as the tricolore. SO why not call it Pasta Tricolore? Feel free to experiment with this recipe: for example, leave out the tomato sauce, use sausage instead of the ham, and use broccoli rabe instead of the radicchio.
- 1 pound linguini
- 1 Tablespoon extra0virgin olive oil
- ¼ pound imported ham (speck or black forest), fat trimmed and cut into ¼ inch cubes
- 1 small white onion, diced
- 1 head of radicchio, cored and coarsely chopped
- 2 cups tomato sauce (recipe follows)
- ½ cup fresh basil leaves, torn into small strips by hand
- ½ pound smoke mozzarella, cut into ½-inch cubes
- ½ cup freshly grated Tuscan pecorino or Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
- Coarse sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1. Cook the pasta al dente according to the instructions on the box. Drain and reserve 1 cup of the cooking water.
2. While the pasta is cooking, place the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. (Make sure the skillet is large enough to hold the sauce and the pasta.) Add the ham and onions and sauté for 8 to 10 minutes, until the onions are soft and golden.
3. Add the radicchio and stir until wilted, about 1 minute. Add the tomato sauce and the drained pasta, and continue to cook, stirring, for 2 minutes. Add the basil, mozzarella, and grated cheese, season with salt and pepper, mix well, and serve. If necessary, thin the sauce with a few tablespoons of the cooking water from the pasta.