Radicchio or Italian chicory is one of the most versatile vegetables, it is absolutely delicious cooked, grilled or raw. With its spicy and bitter flavor, radicchio doesn’t have one of the most desirable flavors, but still if you try some of the classic Italian radicchio recipes, you will love it. It can be used in both savory and sweet recipes. Here in Veneto region, radicchio is one of the most popular vegetables, and if you take a look at varieties of radicchio you will see why… almost all originate in Veneto. Here they call it “the winter flower”, and the best known is radicchio from Treviso, but there are other varieties like those from Castelfranco, Verona, and Chioggia. You can use it for preparing salads, grilled vegetables, risotto, pasta and even desserts.
In this recipe, I used radicchio Chioggia. You can use this type of radicchio for pasta and risotto recipes. It is very easy to prepare and you will make an appetizing meal in just 20 minutes. You can combine it with other ingredients like anchovies, tuna, or smoked bacon. I was never really a fan of bitterness as a flavor, except the coffee, so I hesitated a bit before preparing anything with radicchio, but I have to admit that the first recipe I prepared made me change my mind, and it was a risotto with radicchio and sausage. I don’t really like it raw, so I don’t use it in salads, but grilled and cooked is really delicious…
Another ingredient that perfectly pairs with radicchio is honey, I could eat pasta with radicchio, honey and smoked bacon every day… oh… I’m hungry right now… It is 11 pm, everyone is already sleeping here, except me, and I would really, really like to eat a big plate of pasta right now. 🙂 Well, that’s how I gained 20 pounds during my first year of college, studying till late at night (I’m a night owl) and eating pasta at 11 pm and eating large portions! Don’t forget about the portion size, the standard Italian serving size is 80 g per person, so eating pasta every day won’t make you gain weight, it’s all about the portion size.
So, enjoy you pasta meal and let me know what you think about recipes with radicchio? Have you tried this simple radicchio recipe?