Radicchio’s Secret Side

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Today I’m guest blogging over at my friend Robyn’s web site Fabulous Food Finds. Robyn focuses on finding great food, products, and tools for the kitchen. I wrote about radicchio, one of my favorite “greens” to put in salad. Did you know that radicchio has a secret, mellower side? Head on over to Robyn’s site to read more about this wonderful member of the chicory family and to get my recipe for Shells with Cannellini Beans and Braised Radicchio. I’ve also posted the recipe below. I appreciate any and all feedback so please feel free to leave a comment on Robyn’s blog (or here). Buon Appetito!

Makes 6 servings

Shells with Cannellini Beans and Braised Radicchio

Copyright 2011 Domenica Marchetti


  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
  • 2 ounces pancetta, cut into small dice
  • 1/2 cup finely diced red onion
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh herbs (I use a mix of oregano, rosemary, and sage)
  • 1 head radicchio (8 ounces), quartered, cored, and shredded
  • 1 (14 1/2-ounce) can diced tomatoes, with their juice
  • 1 (14 1/2-ounce) can cannellini beans, with their liquid
  • 5 to 6 cups fat-free, low-sodium vegetable or chicken broth
  • 1 1/2 cups dried shell pasta
  • Freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese for serving


Heat the 2 tablespoons of olive oil and pancetta in a large Dutch oven or other heavy-bottomed pot over medium heat. Cook for about 5 minutes, or until the pancetta has rendered some of its fat and is slightly crisp. Stir in the onion, garlic, and herbs and sauté for 5 minutes, until the onion is beginning to soften. Add the radicchio to the pot and stir to combine. Reduce the heat to medium-low, cover, and cook for about 15 minutes, until the radicchio has completely wilted. Uncover and stir from time to time while the radicchio cooks. Pour in the tomatoes and simmer, uncovered, for 20 minutes, or until the mixture is thickened to a sauce.

Stir in the beans and their liquid. Pour in 5 cups of the broth, raise the heat to medium-high and bring to a boil. Add the pasta and stir gently. Cook according to the manufacturer’s instructions until the pasta is al dente or even slightly more tender. Add a splash or two more broth if you prefer a soupier soup.

Ladle the soup into warmed shallow bowls. Drizzle a little olive oil over each serving and sprinkle with a little cheese. Serve immediately.

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6 Responses to Radicchio’s Secret Side

  1. Darren March 28, 2011 at 9:49 pm #

    Whast a gorgeous photo of the radicchio. I think I will try the cannellini recipe, and will hope that my doing so might encourage spring to finally appear.

    • Domenica March 28, 2011 at 11:10 pm #

      Thank you. I could hardly believe that I took that photo myself. It is a great recipe. I think Nick may have even had some.

  2. Liz the Chef March 29, 2011 at 3:20 pm #

    Wow – enter that photo in a contest…

  3. Adriana Vance March 29, 2011 at 8:40 pm #

    Hey mom!!!,
    Yeah that photo is amazing!!!!! Great blog!
    Love ya!

  4. Nancy Baggett March 31, 2011 at 12:08 pm #

    I, too, just love that picture. Simple and clean but it just pops. And I’m not even a great radicchio fan.

    • Domenica March 31, 2011 at 11:03 pm #

      You have to try braised radicchio, Nancy. It’s a completely different vegetable. Thanks for your comment.

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