Sunday, August 17, 2008

Spaghetti with ricotta and radicchio

Hello everyone, I have been lucky enough to go to three really good places in the last two days with three of my favourite people. It has made it an outstanding weekend! On Friday I had a friend here from Victoria and he was staying in Mosman, so what better excuse to take him to Source for a quick lunch. I then met a friend for drinks at The Ivy. It was the first time I had been there and I have to confess with the steamroller of publicity accompanying the opening of this complex I was a little cynical about the whole thing. I have to say though that the bar we chose was lovely, the service was great and the wine delicious. I am now quite intrigued about what else is in The Ivy and want to go back and try out all the bars it contains!

Then last night I went to a restaurant called Rocket, at Chatswood, and it was fantastic! Not a great location as it is right next to the train station and the outlook over the western side of the station uninspiring. But once you are inside you forget where you are. It looks great, the service is very good and the food was divine. I know this is a big call but I think the lamb I had was the most luscious lamb I've ever had! It was a really impressive place.

This week's recipe is something very quick and easy and warming for winter. I adore ricotta so am always keen to use it. I also really like using breadcrumbs with pasta - they add a really nice crunch. Of course, the better your bread, the better the breadcrumbs,so if you can use a nice sourdough you'll get a great result. It comes from one of the SOS books published by Vogue Entertaining that I have quoted before - an endless source of great ideas for the kitchen.

Have a great week, Jane xx

Spaghetti with ricotta and radicchio

Serves four

What you need:
  • 150g fresh breadcrumbs
  • 80ml extra virgin olive oil
  • 500g spaghetti
  • 1/2 cup stock or water
  • 1 head radicchio, tough outer leaves discarded, remaining leaves torn into small pieces
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh oregano
  • 350g really good, fresh ricotta
  • 150g parmesan, grated

What you do:
  1. Preheat the oven to 180C.
  2. Spread the breadcrumbs in a baking dish and pour over half the olive oil.
  3. Bake the crumbs for 10 minutes, until golden brown. Keep an eye on them, stirring once of twice, so they don't burn. Allow to cool.
  4. Cook the spaghetti and drain well.
  5. Bring the stock/water and remaining olive oil to a simmer in a large pan.
  6. Toss in the pasta, then the remaining ingredients, and season with salt and pepper if you wish.
  7. When the radicchio is wilted and the mixture hot, remove from the heat and serve sprinkled with the breadcrumbs.