This is an easy and classic preparation for pasta. The creamy ricotta is blanced by the bitter bite of radicchio and the strong garlic flavor in the crunchy breadcrumb topping.
- 2 tablespoon very good olive oil, plus more for drizzling
- 3 clove garlic, peeled and minced
- ½ cup italian parsley, leaves only, minced
- 1 cup homemade or panko style breadcrumbs, plain
- ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 1 pound thin, dried spaghetti
- 10 ounce whole milk ricotta
- 1 head radicchio, quartered, cored and cut into thin ribbons
- fresh ground black pepper
- parmesan cheese to taste
Heat about 1 tablespoon of the olive oil in a medium-sized skillet set over medium heat. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant but not yet browned, about 2 minutes. Add the breadcrumbs and cook, stirring frequently. They should become golden in about 4 minutes. Remove the skillet from the heat and add the parsley. Continue to stir until the skillet has cooled somewhat. Set aside.
Bring a large pot of water to boil over high heat. Add several tablespoons of salt. Add the pasta to the pot, stir a few times to avoid sticking and cook until al dente. Drain the pasta, reserving about 1 cup of pasta water for the sauce.
Put the spaghetti and pasta water back into the pot, adding the ricotta and the remaining olive oil. Stir well to coat all the noodles. Add the ribbons of radicchio and about 25% of the breadcrumbs. Taste and season with more salt if necessary and plenty of black pepper. Toss to combine and turn the spaghetti out onto a serving platter, topping it with the remaining breadcrumbs and a big drizzle of olive oil. Serve warm, passing the Parmesan at the table.