Radicchio, Pancetta & White Bean Pasta

Perfect for any weeknight meal, this pasta features seasonal radicchio which pairs perfectly with the creamy white beans.

Perfect for any weeknight meal, this pasta features seasonal radicchio which pairs perfectly with the creamy white beans.

As I mentioned at the beginning of the month, in January our feature seasonal ingredient is radicchio! And today I’m sharing a super simple weeknight meal with this Radicchio, Pancetta & White Bean Pasta.

This pasta is ready in under 30 minutes and features the bold & bitter flavors of radicchio along with salty & crispy pancetta and creamy white beans. A generous sprinkle of Parmesan cheese and dinner is served!

But let’s get to know our radicchio a little more, shall we?

Be bold and be bitter: radicchio is wonderful raw but tends to mellow out once cooked.

Be bold and be bitter: radicchio is wonderful raw but tends to mellow out once cooked.

Radicchio is a member of the chicory family which also includes frisée, escarole and endives. It thrives in cool conditions as this helps give them their signature bitterness. Radicchio in particular features bright red leaves and is commonly used in Italian cuisine.

While there are several varieties of radicchio, the most common you will find is the Chioggia variety which can be found in most supermarkets. Radicchio is packed with Vitamins B, C & K and can help the body naturally detox as it supports both your blood system and your liver.

The beautiful thing about radicchio is that it can be used both raw and gently cooked as in this Charred Radicchio Salad with Parmesan Yogurt Dressing.

A few more notes about this dish:

  • Make it Your Own: Looking for a vegetarian dish? Simply leave out the pancetta or make it vegan by also leaving out the Parmesan. Just be sure to adjust the salt seasoning properly as both of these ingredients do add an element of saltiness.

  • Substitutions: Feel free to use any kind of pasta you like (gluten-free, whole wheat, etc) but I find the penne shape to work best.

Radicchio, Pancetta & White Bean Pasta

Serves: 4-6

Time: 30 Minutes

Ingredients:

6 ounces pancetta, diced

4 cups radicchio, cored & shredded

1 large shallot, peeled and minced

1 15 ounce can white beans, rinsed and drained

10 ounces penne pasta (I love using Jovial’s 100% Organic Einkorn Traditional Pasta)

1/2 cup grated Parmesan, divided

1/4 cup parsley, chopped

Sea salt, to taste

Ground black pepper, to taste

Instructions:

1. Prepare the pasta according to the package instructions in a large pot of salted water until the pasta is al dente. Reserve 3/4 cup pasta water before draining the pasta and setting aside.

2. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the diced pancetta and cook for 5-8 minutes or until crispy, flipping over about halfway through. Remove and drain on a paper towel lined plate. Set aside.

3. Turn the heat to medium and add the shallot to the pan. Cook for 5 minutes or until translucent and softened. Add the radicchio and sauté for 3 minutes until lightly wilted. Add the beans, cooked pancetta and reserved pasta water. Simmer for 2 minutes before adding 1/4 cup of the Parmesan cheese and the pasta. Toss well to coat the pasta in the sauce and let cook for 2 minutes.

4. Garnish with the parsley and remaining Parmesan cheese before serving.