I did some horsing around with radicchio last year when it started showing up in the CSA box. My best result was Radicchio, Bacon, Papparadelle. Delicious, but pretty in-your-face with the bitterness of the radicchio, so not for everyone. My pal Kennibob suggested something similar with possibly sausage. I found an adapted Batali recipe online, and further modified it based on what was in the cupboard.
As is often the case with my recipes, consider it a guideline, rather than gospel. Everything’s totally approximate.
Pasta with Sausage and Radicchio
Makes one large saute pan of the sauce
1/2 lb sweet italian sausage
3 cloves garlic, sliced thin
1/2 white onion, sliced thin longitudinally, then chopped crossways a couple of times
1/2 fennel bulb, diced to 1/4”
1 head radicchio, sliced tin, then chopped crossways a couple of times
1-2 cups pureed tomatoes—grab a couple and chop them roughly as well
salt and pepper to taste
Saute the sausage, breaking up as you go. Chop the veg while you’re doing this. Remove sausage, and drain. Add a bit more olive oil to the pan if you need it. Saute the vegetables at medium heat for 10 minutes or so to wilt. Then add back in the sausage along with the tomatoes, and some seasonings. Options: fines herbes, Italian seasoning, fresh or dry oregano, pepper flakes, fennel seeds. Cook for about 20 minutes, adding water, stock, or wine as needed.
Cook pasta. Any type of pasta that can grip the sauce, which is not very saucy, will work. Reserve some pasta water when you drain the pasta. Toss pasta with sauce, adding liquid if you need to. Garnish with any of the following: toasted pinenuts, grated Parmesean, chiffonaded basil, drizzle of balsamic vinegar.