I have been waiting (and waiting) to share this pasta that I so love, and frequently crave. The reason I had been waiting is because I was going to have my brother in law make it just to demonstrate the fact that I do my best to share easy recipes that anyone can make (again, no offense Michael!). BUT, when will this cooking day come? Apparently not any time soon. When I picked up my CSA box this week there was a perfect head of radicchio and I took it as a sign. Forget it, I am making Whole-Wheat Spaghetti with Leeks and Hazelnuts TONIGHT. And was I glad that I did. This fantastically simple yet unique pasta dish is from the Food TV Cookbook. I hope you like it as much as I do.
Whole-Wheat Spaghetti with Leeks and Hazelnuts (Food TV Cookbook)
12 oz whole-wheat spaghetti
4 Tbs extra-virgin olive oil
3 leeks, white and light green parts only, thinly sliced
2 tsp sugar
2 tsp balsamic vinegar
1 small head of radicchio, halved, cored and thinly sliced
6 oz fontina, cubed
1/3 cup hazelnuts, toasted and chopped
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add spaghetti and cook as label directs.
Meanwhile, heat a large skillet over medium-low heat and add 2 Tbs of olive oil. Scatter the leeks in the skillet and season with 1 tsp salt and 1 tsp sugar. Cook, stirring occasionally until tender, about 10 minutes.
Drain pasta, reserving about 1 cup of cooking water. Add pasta and the water to the pan with the leeks. Add the remaining 2 Tbs oil, 1 tsp sugar and the balsamic vinegar. Increase the heat to med-high and add radicchio and cheese. Toss until cheese melts. Season with salt (to taste) and top with hazelnuts.
I've made a variation on this before, I had some random greens I used inplace of radicchio (can't remember now what it was) and fresh mozzerella in place of the fontina. That came out good too but I really love the original.