Pasta

Orecchiette Pasta With Pancetta And Radicchio

Orecchiette pasta with pancetta, garlic, and radicchio. This delicious, 10 minute pasta recipe is so simple, light and perfect for Summer. The sauce is made while the pasta is boiling so it’s incredibly easy, fuss-free and full of flavour.

Because we all need quick, weeknight dinners!

An overhead shot of orecchiette pasta with pancetta and radicchio in a large pan

I lovee me some quick pasta. I am literally obsessed with pasta so when I want something quick, delicious and fast pasta is the first thing to pop into my head the majority of the time.

I also love how versatile pasta is and how drastically different one dish to the other can be. Take my White truffle cacio e pepe and my Broccoli pasta with chilli, garlic and parmesan for example. Both completely delicious FAST but totally different in flavours and textures!

Cooking with usual pasta shapes is so much fun and it’s a great way to spruce up simple pasta dishes. For this quick weeknight meal I chose orecchiette pasta with pancetta, garlic and radicchio.

What Is Orecchiette Pasta?

Orecchiette are small, round pasta shapes from Puglia in southern Italy. It translates as little ears and is traditionally made by pressing your thumb into the pasta to create the ear shape. I dunno about you but I prefer not to look at my bowl of pasta as little ears covered in sauce (just a little creepy).

Instead, I look down at the cute little shapes and think how pretty this dish is with the bright purple radicchio.

How To Make Orecchiette Pasta With Pancetta And Radicchio – Step By Step

Bring a large pot of water to a boil and cook the orecchiette pasta according to packet instructions until al dente.

Tip: I use dried orecchiette pasta because it takes longer to cook and gives me time to make the sauce. If you are using fresh pasta (bought refrigerated in the supermarket) it will cook much faster so add it when the sauce is almost done.

Add the pancetta to a large pan and fry until it’s just starting to brown. Finely slice the garlic cloves and add them to the pancetta, fry until the garlic is just beginning to turn golden (photo 1-2).

Step by step photos for how to make orecchiette pasta with pancetta and radicchio

Add the stock and simmer the sauce for 2-3 minutes until it has reduced slightly. Once the pasta is ready, drain and add it to the sauce (photos 3-4).

Add the chopped radicchio and parmesan and mix through then serve (photos 5-6).

P.S Make sure you don’t add the radicchio too soon into the pasta as it loses it’s lovely vibrant purple colour and turns brown when cooked.

Variations – Other Ways To Serve Orecchiette Pasta

  • Substitute the radicchio with baby spinach.
  • Peas added to the pasta would add extra freshness
  • You can substitute the orecchiette or any short pasta shape
  • Add some fresh chilli or red pepper flakes for a spicy kick
  • Try adding fresh herbs such as parsley or basil
  • Lemon zest would add a nice zing

A close up of orecchiette pasta with pancetta and radicchio with a wooden spoon in a large pan

Quick Pasta Recipes You Might like;

And that’s it, so simple and easy. If you don’t like radicchio because of it’s bitter flavour then you can find some suggestions above to replace it and other variations you could make to the pasta. This kind of meal is so versatile and is meant to be adapted with your favourite flavours, veggies, herbs and spices. Enjoy!

If you’ve tried this orecchiette pasta with pancetta and radicchio or any other recipe on the blog then don’t forget to rate the recipe and let me know how you got on in the comments below, I love hearing from you! You can also FOLLOW ME on FACEBOOK, TWITTER, INSTAGRAM and PINTEREST to see more delicious food and what I’m getting up to.

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5 from 3 votes

Orecchiette Pasta with Pancetta and Radicchio

Orecchiette pasta with pancetta, garlic, and radicchio. This delicious, 10 minute pasta recipe is so simple, light and perfect for Summer. 
Course Main Course
Cuisine Italian
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes
Servings 4 people
Calories 436kcal
Author Emily Kemp

Ingredients

  • 12 oz (350g) orecchiette pasta
  • 1/2 small radicchio roughly chopped
  • 1/2 cup (120ml) chicken stock
  • 3.5 oz (100g) smoked pancetta cubed
  • 2 garlic cloves thinly sliced
  • 1 tbsp parmesan freshly grated
  • salt and pepper to season
  • olive oil if needed

Instructions

  • Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and cook the orecchiette pasta according to packet instructions until al dente.
  • Add the pancetta to a large pan and fry until it's just starting to brown, there should be enough fat in the pancetta but if needed add a little drizzle of olive oil to the pan. 
  • Finely slice the garlic cloves and add them to the pancetta, fry until the garlic is just beginning to turn golden
  • Add the stock and simmer the sauce for 2-3 minutes until it has reduced slightly. Once the pasta is ready, drain and add it to the sauce
  • Add the chopped radicchio, parmesan and a pinch of salt and pepper and mix through. Serve.

Notes

  • I use dried orecchiette pasta because it takes longer to cook and gives me time to make the sauce. If you are using fresh pasta (bought refrigerated in the supermarket) it will cook much faster so add it when the sauce is almost done.
  • Make sure you don't add the radicchio too soon into the pasta as it loses it's lovely vibrant purple colour and turns brown when cooked.

Variations - Other Ways To Serve Orecchiette Pasta

  • Substitute the radicchio with baby spinach.
  • Peas added to the pasta would add extra freshness
  • You can substitute the orecchiette or any short pasta shape
  • Add some fresh chilli or red pepper flakes for a spicy kick
  • Try adding fresh herbs such as parsley or basil
  • Lemon zest would add a nice zing
Nutrition Facts
Orecchiette Pasta with Pancetta and Radicchio
Amount Per Serving
Calories 436 Calories from Fat 99
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 11g 17%
Saturated Fat 3g 15%
Cholesterol 18mg 6%
Sodium 231mg 10%
Potassium 269mg 8%
Total Carbohydrates 65g 22%
Dietary Fiber 2g 8%
Sugars 2g
Protein 15g 30%
Vitamin C 0.6%
Calcium 3.5%
Iron 7.1%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

Nutrition

Nutrition Facts
Orecchiette Pasta with Pancetta and Radicchio
Amount Per Serving
Calories 436 Calories from Fat 99
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 11g 17%
Saturated Fat 3g 15%
Cholesterol 18mg 6%
Sodium 231mg 10%
Potassium 269mg 8%
Total Carbohydrates 65g 22%
Dietary Fiber 2g 8%
Sugars 2g
Protein 15g 30%
Vitamin C 0.6%
Calcium 3.5%
Iron 7.1%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Helpful Info For All Recipes 
  • I always use extra virgin olive oil in all of my recipes unless stated otherwise
  • When I use canned or jarred tomatoes of any kind I always use this brand for the best results and flavour
  • All vegetables are medium sized unless stated otherwise
  • All recipes are tested and developed using a fan oven
  • Read more about how the nutritional information is calculated here
Did you try this recipe?Mention @insidetherustickitchen or tag #insidetherustickitchen! We'd love you see what you're getting up to in the kitchen!

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9 Comments

  • Reply
    Sabrina
    May 3, 2018 at 10:57 pm

    These pasta is right up my alley! Absolutely love this recipe.

  • Reply
    Marie
    April 26, 2018 at 8:10 am

    Love simple and easy pasta dishes! This looks super tasty. I’ve never had radicchio with pasta before. I need to give it a try.

  • Reply
    Iryna
    April 26, 2018 at 3:21 am

    This is my type of dinner recipe! My husband is not a big fan of radicchio, but I would devour the whole thing in no time.

  • Reply
    Jere Cassidy
    April 26, 2018 at 3:13 am

    Great post and instructions. Your pasta looks so colorful and absolutely delicious.

  • Reply
    Claudia Lamascolo
    April 26, 2018 at 12:04 am

    this is one of our favorite Italian pasta you have made it gourmet and I cant wait to make it a Tuscan dish we will all love to try. My family is from Italy not too far from there! Thanks

  • Reply
    Susie
    April 25, 2018 at 11:55 pm

    I am always looking for easy weeknight dinners. This looks so flavorful and a great new variation on pasta night!

  • Leave a Reply

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