Fettuccine Pasta with Speck and Radicchio (Italian chicory)

Wild Garlic Fettuccine Pasta with Speck and Radicchio (Italian chicory)

This wild garlic fettuccine pasta with speck and radicchio is a wonderful combination of Northern Italian flavours. 

Fettuccine Pasta with speck and radicchio (Italian chicory)

Fettuccine al aglio orsino con speck e radicchio

The fettuccine pasta I used for this recipe comes from  the Northern Italian region of Trentino-Alto Adige and is made with wild garlic. The speck is also from the Alto Adige (South Tyrol in English) and radicchio, or Italian chicory, is a staple vegetable widely used in recipes and salads here. These ingredients combined together with cream and a sprinkling of walnuts make this is a delicious Northern Italian recipe.

(Click to go straight to recipe)

Ingredients in basket for fettuccine Pasta with speck and radicchio (Italian chicory)

Radicchio in Italy

Radicchio is a leafy chicory also known as Italian chicory. It has been cultivated in Italy since the 15th century, especially in the region I live in, Veneto, as well as Friuli Venezia Giulia and Trentino. There are different types of radicchio. The most common are the round ‘radicchio di Chioggia’, which looks like a purple cabbage, and ‘radicchio di Treviso’, which resembles Belgian endive. Italians use radicchio a lot in salads. But, it is also cooked in risotto and served with pasta like in this pasta with speck and radicchio recipe.

Shredded radicchio for fettuccine pasta with speck and radicchio (Italian chicory)

Not everyone likes radicchio because it can taste a little bitter. Although, if you soak the leaves in water for 20 minutes before cooking, this reduces the bitterness. Cooked radicchio is noticeably less bitter than raw. It is also full of vitamins, minerals, electrolytes and phyto-nutrients, which means it is good for the eyes!

Onions and speck in frying pan for pasta with speck and radicchio recipe

Speck from the South Tyrol

Speck is the most well-known food produced in the Alto-Adige or South Tyrol. It is a distinctly flavored, smoked, cured ham which has a much fuller taste than Italian prosciutto crudo. It’s a kind of cross between ham and bacon and is often used in cooking in Northern Italy. However, it’s also eaten raw like prosciutto. Outside of Italy, speck can be harder to find and is more expensive than pancetta. But, this recipe can be made with pancetta too.

onions, speck and radicchio in frying pan for pasta with speck and radicchio recipe

Wild garlic or aglio orsino (bear’s garlic)

Wild garlic is one of my favourite foraged foods. A type of wild garlic even grows in the fields around my house, although, unfortunately, not in enough quantity to do much with it. It grows in the spring throughout Italy, especially in meadows, woods and forests which are near water such as springs, rivers, etc. Italians use the bulbs, flowers and leaves in cooking. In fact, the leaves make a wonderful pesto. It’s a popular ingredient in the South Tirolean kitchen and, when in season, is used in the filling for schlutzkrapfen or Tirolean mezzelune.

sauce in frying pan for pasta with speck and radicchio recipe

Not just fettuccine pasta with speck and radicchio.

The fettuccine I used for this pasta with speck and radicchio recipe also came from the South Tyrol and was made with wild garlic, hence the green colour and the lovely delicate garlicky taste of the noodles. Obviously wild garlic fettuccine isn’t widely available, but this recipe is delicious with normal fettucine, pappardelle or tagliatelle or spinach pasta. You can also make it with short pasta such as penne.

Sauce and fettuccine in frying pan for pasta with speck and radicchio recipe

Don’t forget to tell me what you think!

If you like Italian chicory, I’m sure you’ll love this recipe. Speck and radicchio are a favourite combo here in Veneto and in Trentino-Alto-Adige. There are a number of different Italian pasta with speck and radicchio recipes. Some people add another cheese such as gorgonzola or scamorza. I decided to keep the ingredients to a minimum. Both the speck and the radicchio have lots of flavour and, in my opinion, are delicious together without adding too many other ingredients. I did add some walnut pieces before serving but you can leave them out if you prefer.

If you make this fettuccine pasta with speck and radicchio, I’d love to hear how it turns out and if you liked it. So, please leave a comment here on the blog or on The Pasta Project Facebook page.

Buon appetito!

(See the recipe on page 2. Just scroll down and click 2)

Wild garlic fettuccine pasta from South Tyrol

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  • Avatar
    October 13, 2018 6:38 pm

    I’ve never had cooked radicchio before. I imagine the flavour in this recipe is amazing – looks like a wonderful dish.

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    October 13, 2018 5:12 pm

    This would have been a great way to use up all the wild garlic we had a few months ago. It looks delicious and comforting.

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    October 13, 2018 4:36 pm

    What a great combination and unique recipe. Love the process photos, too! Perfect for this time of year.

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    October 13, 2018 2:49 pm

    I like chicory but it’s hard to find where I live. Love this recipe!

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    Bintu | Recipes From A Pantry
    October 13, 2018 1:32 pm

    This sounds like the most deliciously flavourful and filling meal! I love tasty pasta dishes like this!

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    Karen @ Seasonal Cravings
    October 13, 2018 12:43 pm

    This looks like the perfect flavor packed weeknight meal. I’m sure that speck adds so much flavor and the radicchio adds another layer of tang. Perfect for a cool, fall night!

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    Michelle Frank | Flipped-Out Food
    May 17, 2018 2:52 pm

    I am familiar with the radicchio di Chioggia, and have indeed used it in salads. Now I’m interested in seeing whether my grocery carries the other types! I bet this would be just amazing pared with the speck and wild garlic— and I just LOVE the idea of wild garlic fettuccine!

    • Jacqui
      October 13, 2018 11:07 am

      This wild garlic fettuccine is really delicious but you can use other types of pasta to make this recipe Michelle! If you can find wild garlic or garlic scapes to add to the dish that would sub the flavour of the garlic pasta.

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    Brian Jones
    May 17, 2018 7:35 am

    That sounds delicious, I love the bitterness of Chicory and Endive… I often braise either in balsamic vinegar it is glorious. Must give this a try as it is bang in wild garlic season here.

    • Jacqui
      October 13, 2018 11:08 am

      Thanks Brian. I love using radicchio in cooking. Hope you try this recipe out!

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    Julie @ Running in a Skirt
    May 16, 2018 3:18 pm

    This looks SO tasty! You can’t go wrong with pasta and radicchio- such a yummy combo.

    • Jacqui
      October 13, 2018 11:08 am

      I agree Julie, pasta and radicchio is a great combo!

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