Radicchio & Ricotta Linguine
Yield: 4 servings
1½ tablespoons + ½ teaspoon kosher salt, divided, plus more to taste
½ pound whole wheat linguini
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
5 large cloves garlic, peeled and minced (2 tablespoons)
4 large shallots, peeled and diced small (3/4 cup)
1½ teaspoons ground fennel
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus more to taste
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 tablespoons heavy whipping cream
1 cup whole milk ricotta
½ cup packed freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano, plus more for serving (1.75 ounces)
½ small head of radicchio, cored and sliced into 1/8-inch thick slices (2 packed cups) (5-ounces)
½ cup toasted walnuts, chopped roughly
½ cup packed roughly chopped fresh flat leaf Italian parsley
Bring a small pot of water and 1½ tablespoons of salt to a rolling boil. Once the water has come to a rolling boil, stir the linguini into the boiling salted water and cook, stirring occasionally, until al dente (almost done, or “to the tooth”). Reserve 1 cup of the pasta water before draining. When pasta is done, turn off heat, drain pasta and return to the original pot and cover with a lid to keep warm.
Meanwhile, while the pasta is cooking, in a medium saucepan, add the olive oil, garlic and shallots and place over medium-low heat. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the shallots just begin to brown, approximately 5 minutes. Add the fennel and black pepper and stir continuously for 1 minute.
Remove from the heat and carefully stir in ¾ cups of the reserved pasta water. Add the lemon juice, cream, ricotta, Parmigiano-Reggiano and remaining ½ teaspoon salt. Whisk until ricotta is fully incorporated.
Add the sauce to the cooked pasta followed by the radicchio, walnuts and parsley. Stir until sauce thickens slightly and all the linguini is well coated. If the sauce is too thick, loosen with the remaining ¼ cup reserved pasta water. Divide onto plates, top with additional Parmigiano-Reggiano and serve immediately.