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Baked pasta with Radicchio and Blue Cheese Sauce

Couple of weeks ago, I read an article where four Australian chefs were talking about what they are feeding their kids. Very interesting reading, got some great ideas for my 10 year old! Now, I am not (or maybe I should say I was not) a very strict mum when it comes to food and soft drinks, I am ok with getting treats, soft drinks here and there etc. but these days there is plenty of food out there that will do more harm than good (GMOs, high sugar content in pretty much everything, antibiotics in meat and fish and the list can go on, unfortunately..) But I don’t want to get too much into this subject, at least not today 🙂

I really liked Colin Fassnidge‘s approach, to tell his daughters what was in their food after they ate it. I know, it’s brilliant! as long as the food looks good…. This way kids won’t have any problem trying something new because of what they think of that dish or ingredient and if they like it, they will have it again without any problems.

Baked pasta with Radicchio and Blue Cheese Sauce

So, here I was yesterday, trying to test if this theory could work. I had a baked pasta dish in my mind, that I really wanted to try but I was a bit worried my daughter may not like it. Why? Because it has radicchio and blue cheese 🙂 I am more than sure if I would have mentioned blue cheese, she  would have said a big NO! to this dish. I am not sure, also, how appealing the radicchio would have been to her too….

Radicchio is a type of bitter red chicory, whose color and flavor changes when it is sautéed. It gets milder, especially if you add a little bit of balsamic vinegar, making it the perfect and not bitter at all. This baked pasta with Radicchio and Blue Cheese sauce recipe is very quick and easy to prepare and trust me, you’ll love the creamy, little bit crumbly Blue Cheese sauce. It is not overpowering the dish, has the perfect balance. I have used gluten free Rotini pasta for my recipe, but you can use any type of pasta.

Baked pasta with Radicchio and Blue Cheese Sauce

Guess what? It has worked! At least with my daughter 🙂 She gave it a try without knowing what ingredients where in her baked pasta and she ate everything. Absolutely clean plate! I couldn’t believe it 🙂 Funny thing, after I have told her what the “purple crunchy thing” was and that she had blue cheese in her sauce, she said “But I don’t like blue cheese! ..Well, I thought I will not like it”

There it was!  Because she thought she would not like it, she would have refused to try it…..

And now, here is my recipe for this delicious Pasta Baked with Radicchio and Blue Cheese Sauce.

Baked pasta with Radicchio and Blue Cheese Sauce

Hope you’ll have a wonderful weekend and a beautiful official Spring Day! We are not so lucky today…it is snowing..again 🙁

Baked pasta with Radicchio and Blue Cheese Sauce

Baked pasta with Radicchio and Blue Cheese Sauce

Yield: 6 servings
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes

Ingredients

  • 12 oz 375g pasta (I used Rotini)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 medium shallots, chopped
  • 2 small radicchio heads, cored and shredded
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano
  • 2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
  • salt and pepper

Sauce

  • 2 cups warm milk
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 cup 4 oz/ 113g blue cheese crumbles
  • 1/3 cup breadcrumbs

Instructions

  1. Boil pasta according to the package directions. Usually about 8-9 minutes to get perfect "al dente". Once ready, drain in a colander, rinse under cold water and drain again. Transfer boiled pasta to a medium bowl and set aside.
  2. Preheat your oven to 375F/ 190C.
  3. In a large pan, add olive oil over medium heat and sauté chopped shallots for 6-8 minutes. Add shredded radicchio to the pan, dried oregano and balsamic vinegar. Continue cooking it for another 5 minutes. Set aside the pan.
  4. To make the sauce, melt unsalted butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Stir in the flour and cook for about 2 minutes, stirring constantly until the mixture cooks and gets bubbly. Add warm milk, continuing to stir as the sauce thickens. Bring it to boil, lower the heat and allow to cook for another 2-3 minutes, stirring. Remove from heat, add blue cheese crumbles and stir until incorporated.
  5. Pour the sauce over the pasta and radicchio mixture and toss to combine. Transfer pasta to your baking dish and sprinkle evenly with bread crumbs. Bake it for 15-20 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool slightly before serving it.
  6. Enjoy!
Nutrition Information:
Yield: 6 Serving Size: 1 grams
Amount Per Serving: Unsaturated Fat: 0g

Baked pasta with Radicchio and Blue Cheese Sauce

Nancy P@thebittersideofsweet

Wednesday 9th of September 2015

Yes to Radicchio!! We can never find any good radicchio here. Normally it is really small and of course doesn't taste as good as treviso radicchio!

Lokness

Wednesday 25th of March 2015

A really smart way to get your daughter retrying flavors! I am never a fan of radicchio. But if your daughter enjoyed the pasta, I am sure I would too!

Mira

Tuesday 24th of March 2015

Very comforting dish Oana! Can't wait to try it!

Adore Foods

Wednesday 25th of March 2015

Thank you Mira!

ramblingtart

Monday 23rd of March 2015

That is a very good plan indeed. :-) And I love this recipe. Radicchio is one of my favorite things and it's so rare that anyone around me cooks with it. :-)

Adore Foods

Wednesday 25th of March 2015

Thank you! Glad to hear you love radicchio too :) Do you have a favorite recipe with radicchio? would love to try something new

nagimaehashi

Monday 23rd of March 2015

Ha! I love Colin's approach, very clever! Oana, this recipe is a ripper! What an incredible flavour combination. I am such a fan of blue cheese - I actually made up a dip with it yesterday! And the radicchio? Never thought to put it in a bake and I'm wondering WHY NOT?!! Pinning away, people need to see this pasta bake!!

Adore Foods

Wednesday 25th of March 2015

Thank you so much Nagi! You'll love radicchio in a baked dish, it is so delicious and that bitter taste fades away :)

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