As you know, I love pesto. It’s so easy and fresh and works with a lot of different foods. I recently heard about the concept of a pesto based on radicchio, the bitter red lettuce related to endive. While I was skeptical, I do like radicchio and have found it to be surprisingly pleasant in the right circumstances, so I decided to try it out with pasta, adding a quickly sautéed shrimp for some added protein.
Radicchio Pesto Pasta
- 3 cups roughly chopped radicchio
- ½ cup walnuts
- ¾ cup grated parmesan
- 3 cloves garlic
- ¾ cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1.5 tsp kosher salt
- 3 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
- In a food processor, combine radicchio, cheese, nuts, and garlic until finely minced
- With machine running, stream in oil until pesto is loose and quite wet
- Season to taste with balsamic, salt and pepper. This will require a lot of salt!
- 1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- Red pepper flakes
- 20 shrimp, peeled and deveined
- 1 pound pasta, cooked al dente
- In a saute pan heat oil over medium heat.
- Add red pepper flakes for 30 seconds, then add shrimp and cook until just pink, about 3 min per side.
- Toss the pasta with 2 cups pesto. Use pasta cooking water to get sauce to the desired consistency.
- Serve the pasta topped with the shrimp.
Ugh. I am sorry, but I am not a convert to radicchio pesto. I like bitter flavors, but this was just so one-note and overwhelming! I could only eat a little bit of it at a time. I think I’ll stick to eating my radicchio grilled with honey, thank you.