Another cold, windy night in Melbourne
Another great chance to experiment with something a little different. I haven’t posted a recipe since, well, my first real entry. This one comes out of Maurizio Terzini’s “Something Italian” and is fantastic on a cold winters night.
Trofie Pasta with kasher bacon, radicchio and ricotta.
500g Trofie Pasta
220ml olive oil
200g kassler bacon ( We used gourmet smoked) cut into 3cmx1cm cubes
5 eschalots, sliced
3 small red chillies, finely chopped
5 cloves garlic, finely chopped
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 cup dry white wine
4 tablespoons chopped flat-leaf parsley
2 heads radicchio, washed and torn
250g fresh ricotta, broken into chunks
This recipe is fantastic, even better on a June night when the cold winter air is remedied with the warmness of a rich sautéed bowl of pasta. I’m very much a bianco style of pasta fan myself; that is, with no or very minimal tomato added. It allows the rest of the ingredients to come alive and are often perfectly finished with the right cheese. Fresh ricotta in this instance gives a creaminess and a certain charm that marries perfectly with the sharpness of the radicchio.
Ingredients are prepared and given their final words before walking the green mile to the fires of some good quality olive oil..
The recipe calls for trofie; 5cm twisted ligurian treats that are not so common in your local chain supermarket, so find a good Mediterranean store instead. Again, good quality pasta is paramount here; so get the best you can find. Cheaper varieties are often tasteless, gluggy and fall apart when cooked – when you consider the savings of only a dollar or two across the whole packet, it doesn’t make sense to ruin a meal over.
Begin boiling the pasta, adding a good serving of salt once the water is brought to the boil. Heating half of the oil in a pan, throw in the bacon and brown it off. After, add the eschalots together with the garlic, chilli and salt and pepper. Pour in the white wine to deglaze and remove from heat.
Once pasta is cooked (Al-dente is critical here. I eat all my pasta this way, but it is still preferential to have trofie a little denser still), place sauce back on heat and introduce the pasta. Add in remaining ingredients but avoid cooking radiccihio for longer than a couple of minutes, just long enough to slightly wilt. Throw in the ricotta last as this needs only a few moments.
And thats pretty much all there is to it. Serve the pasta out, if you’re like me and like a little extra tang grate a small amount of parmesan over the top just for a bit of saltiness and enjoy.
Serve with the nearest winter warmer you have; this time an ’82 Tahbilk Cab.
Until next time, folks.