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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.
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.
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.
Hope you’ll have a wonderful weekend and a beautiful official Spring Day! We are not so lucky today…it is snowing..again 🙁
- 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
- 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
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.
Preheat your oven to 375F/ 190C.
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.
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.
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.