While you could easily make this recipe by just sauteeing the radicchio, I really love the smoky flavor that the grill brings to this dish.
Baked Pasta with Grilled Radicchio and Mozzarella
1 large head of common radicchio, about 4-5 inches across
1 T olive oil
1 T butter
1 medium yellow onion, finely chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 28 oz can roasted whole tomatoes (Muir Glen)
1/2 cup heavy cream
8 oz penne or rigatoni pasta
6 oz mozzarella, diced into ¼ inch squares
1/2 cup finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
Rinse radicchio and remove damaged leaves. Cut into quarters through core, keeping a piece of core with each quarter to prevent the leaves from separating. Soak in cold water for 5-10 minutes. Drain and brush with olive oil.
Grill over a medium-hot fire until slightly softened and deeply browned on all sides. Set aside to cool. When cool enough to handle, chop into bite-sized pieces.
Heat the oven to 400°F and place one of the racks in the upper third of the oven. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat.
Drain can of tomatoes and reserve juices. Dice tomatoes and set aside.
Heat olive oil and butter over medium heat. When the foam from the butter subsides, add the chopped onion. Season with salt and sauté until nearly transluscent. Add garlic and continue to sauté until tender and just beginning to brown.
At this point, add the diced tomatoes with some of their juice and let the sauce simmer until slightly reduced and thickened, about 10 minutes. Add more juice, as needed, until a slightly saucy consistency is achieved. Add radicchio and cream and cook just until heated through. Taste and adjust seasoning as necessary.
By now, your pasta water is probably boiling. Add pasta and cook for ½ the recommended time. Drain, and add to pasta sauce. Stir to combine.
Place pasta mixture in a lightly oiled 13-by-9-inch baking dish and add diced mozzarella cheese. Sprinkle Parmigiano over the top.
Bake until cheese is melted, sauce is starting to bubblem and top is golden brown, about 20 minutes.
We talk about this recipe HERE.