Strozzapreti with ham and radicchio di Treviso

I decided I wanted to not go to the store for anything, and just eat from the pantry. “Walk my talk” and all that. I had a head of radicchio di Treviso (truly, the handsomest of all endive relatives) that was getting a bit wilty, a huge hunk of Applegate nitrite-free ham, half a red bell pepper (going soft in spots) and an egg.

We also had a nice box of strozzapreti (“priest chokers”) from an Italian company that’s been making organic, artisanal pasta since the 1300s. When we bought it last week, Scott’s mom balked at spending nearly $4 on a box of pasta until I pointed out that it came out to 50 cents a serving. Admittedly, this pasta screams for cheese sauce, but it’s still a decent way to use some bitter Treviso and leftover smoky-sweet ham.

I sliced the Treviso into bite-sized hunks and sauteed it with some chopped garlic in a glug or two of olive oil. Added the sliced pepper and ham (shaved on the mandoline), a few good cracks of pepper and a pinch of chili flake. Toss this with the cooked pasta (with a few tablespoons of the cooking water), and the raw egg, beaten. Stir to combine, and top with a metric tonne of parm. Enjoy with a good, cheap Spanish table wine such as Carril de Cotos 2006. The brambles and cherries stroke the bitterness of the treviso, whilst the twang of tanned leather karate-chops the salty, fatty ham and eggs.