Sausage and Radicchio Pasta Recipe.

Sausage and Radicchio Pasta Recipe from Northern Italy.

Sausage and radicchio (Italian chicory) is a popular combination for both pasta and risotto recipes, particularly here in Northern Italy, where most of the country’s radicchio is grown. This sausage and radicchio pasta recipe has only 3 main ingredients and is super simple to make. It’s also very tasty and full of authentic Italian flavour!

Pasta Radicchio e Salsiccia

sausage and radicchio pasta recipe

What is radicchio?

Radicchio is a leafy chicory also called Italian chicory. Although the Romans liked and ate radicchio, modern cultivation started here in Italy in the 15th century! A lot of Italy’s radicchio is grown in Veneto (where I live), as well as Trentino and Friuli Venezia Giulia.

sausage and radicchio pasta

There are different types of Italian radicchio. The most common are ‘radicchio di Chioggia’ which is round and looks like a purple cabbage and ‘radicchio di Treviso’ which looks like Belgian endive. I particularly like the ‘Tardivo’ radicchio, which resembles flowers.

ingredients for sausage and radicchio pasta on white plate

You can use any of these types of Italian chicory for this sausage and radicchio pasta. I used the one which looks like Belgian endive. Some people find radicchio a little bitter but the taste mellows when you cook it. This leaf vegetable is also very healthy. Italian chicory is full of vitamins, minerals, electrolytes and phyto-nutrients, which means it is good for the eyes!

chopped sausage meat in white bowl. chopped radicchio in white bowl. peeled and chopped onion in white bowl

Cooking pasta with radicchio.

This sausage and radicchio farfalle is one of many pasta recipes that include these two main ingredients. Italians also like to make baked pasta, as well as lasagna, with radicchio and sausage. The lasagna version is a dish I want to make soon. I have a recipe for radicchio lasagna (pasticcio) here on the blog, but without sausage. Although, probably all I would need to do is add sausage meat to the skillet when cooking the radicchio!

sausage meat and onions cooking in skillet

Like most sausage and radicchio pasta recipes, this one with farfalle (bow-tie pasta) is pretty simple. Apart from the pasta, sausage and chicory, all you need is some heavy cream and an onion. And, a little parsley to serve. This dish also doesn’t take very long to make. In fact, it doesn’t take much more time than you need to boil the water and cook the pasta!

uncooked radicchio in skillet with onions and sausage meat

What kind of sausage should you use?

As you can imagine there are lots of different kinds of sausages in Italy. In fact, every region has its specialties and local types of sausage. Most Italian recipes for sausage and radicchio pasta call for ‘salsiccia’. This usually refers to a simple fresh pork sausage made from a mixture of lean and fatty pork cuts, ground and mixed together with a little salt and wine, usually red. There are many types of salsiccia which also have spices or herbs such as fennel seed, nutmeg, black pepper, chili pepper (peperoncino) etc. But, for this recipe plain Italian salsiccia is best.

cooked radicchio, sausage meat and onions in skillet

A little farfalle history.

I used farfalle or bow-tie pasta for this dish. This is actually one of the oldest pasta shapes in Italy. Farfalle, which means butterfly in Italian, was invented during the 16th century in the Northern Italian regions of Emilia-Romagna and Lombardy. In Emilia-Romagna, they also call this pasta shape ‘strichetti’.  Food historians say that farfalle pasta was invented as a way to use up left over pasta dough after making other pasta like filled cappelletti.  

heavy cream added to sausage and radicchio in skillet

Apparently, this trend became so popular that cooks would deliberately make extra dough, so that there would be plenty leftover to make farfalle! I have also made farfalle from left over dough. I did it recently when I was making silk handkerchief pasta with pesto. It’s pretty easy.

farfalle (bow-tie pasta) from Valle del Grano

The pasta I used.

I didn’t make homemade farfalle for this sausage and radicchio pasta recipe. I used dried farfalle from one of the best pasta makers in Sicily. My Sicilian hubby brought it back for me the last time he was there visiting family. This company is called Valle del Grano.

cooked farfalle pasta added to sausage and radicchio sauce in skillet

In my opinion, the best pasta in Italy is made with 100% Italian wheat (preferably organic), plus it’s bronze extruded and slow dried. This brand ticks all the boxes. They make their pasta with 100% Sicilian durum wheat grown in the Dittaino valley between Catania and Enna. Durum wheat has been grown in this area since Roman times. Their pasta is also extruded through bronze dies and slow dried.

farfalle pasta mixed with sausage and radicchio sauce in skillet

I’m not sure how much Valle del Grano export, although I know this pasta is sold in Malta. However, farfalle or bow-tie pasta is very popular in Italy and so there are many brands that make this shape both for the Italian market and for export. Other good brands that I like and are easier to find are Rummo, Garafalo, Benedetto Cavalieri, La Molisana, Girolomoni and Di Martino. Of course, you can also use other types of short pasta.

sausage and radicchio pasta

Whichever, pasta brand or shape you choose, I’m sure you’ll love and enjoy the flavours of this Northern Italian recipe for sausage and radicchio pasta. It’s simple enough for weeknights but special enough to serve to guests!

If you do make this sausage and radicchio pasta recipe, I’d love to hear how it turns out. Please write a comment here on the blog or post a comment on the Pasta Project Facebook page.

Your feedback means a lot to me!

Buon Appetito!

Other radicchio pasta recipes.

  1. Radicchio lasagne al forno (pasticcio)
  2. Gnocchi with gorgonzola and radicchio
  3. Busiate with radicchio pesto
  4. Fettuccine with radicchio and speck
sausage and radicchio farfalle pasta recipe

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sausage and radicchio pasta recipe
5 from 25 votes
sausage and radicchio pasta recipe with farfalle
Sausage and Radicchio Pasta Recipe from Northern Italy.
Prep Time
15 mins
Cook Time
30 mins
 

This 3 ingredient Northern Italian recipe for sausage and radicchio pasta is simple enough for weeknights but special enough to serve to guests!

Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Italian, Mediterranean, Northern Italy, Veneto
Keyword: bow-tie pasta, farfalle, italian chicory, Italian sausage, radicchio, radicchio pasta, salsiccia, sausage pasta
Servings: 4
Calories: 809 kcal
Author: Jacqueline De Bono
Ingredients
  • 400 g farfalle pasta (14oz) or other short pasta
  • 1-2 heads radicchio leaves separated and washed
  • 200 g Italian sausage (7oz) 2-3 sausages
  • 1 white onion (or 2 shallots) peeled and finely chopped
  • 200 ml heavy cream (7 floz) Italian panna di cucina
  • 2-3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil.
  • 1 handful fresh parsley chopped (optional)
  • salt for pasta and to taste
  • freshly ground black pepper. to taste
Instructions
Prepare ingredients
  1. Wash the radicchio leaves. Pat dry and chop into small strips. Remove the sausage meat from the casing and chop into small pieces. Peel and finely chop the onion.

Make the sauce
  1. Put the olive oil and the finely chopped onion into a skillet or deep frying pan and cook until the onion starts to soften. Add the sausage meat and continue cooking on medium heat until the sausage is slightly browned.

  2. Add the chopped radicchio to the sausage and onion and mix. Also add salt and pepper to taste. Continue cooking on a low heat until all the radicchio has wilted. Add the heavy cream and mix everything together well. Continue cooking for 5 minutes.

Cook the pasta
  1. Put a pot of water onto boil for the pasta. Add salt once it starts to boil and bring to the boil again.  Cook the pasta al dente, according to the instructions on the packet. Save a little pasta cooking water and drain the pasta.

Finish the dish
  1. If your sauce seems dry add some of the pasta cooking water to it and stir well. Add the pasta to the sauce and mix everything together. Saute for 2-3 minutes. Serve immediately with some chopped fresh parsley if using.

Recipe Notes

You can use other types of short pasta for this dish such as penne. 

sausage and radicchio pasta recipe

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53 Comments

  • Avatar
    Alena
    June 8, 2020 6:16 pm

    I’ve never actually cooked with radicchio and didn’t realize it was something you can heat up! Will have to try this recipe since it looks delicious. 🙂

  • Avatar
    Emily
    June 3, 2020 11:13 pm

    Love the addition of radicchio to pasta, I’ve never tried that before!

    • Avatar
      The Pasta Project
      June 6, 2020 8:24 pm

      Radicchio is wonderful! It is also great in salads and can be cooked in any way you can think of!

  • Avatar
    Tanu Tiffin
    June 3, 2020 11:07 am

    i think i am at the right blog bcoz I am pasta lover !! wanna sure try

    • Avatar
      The Pasta Project
      June 6, 2020 8:34 pm

      You are definitely in the right place! If you haven’t already, take a look through the website – there are many beautiful recipes to try!

  • Avatar
    Lathiya
    June 3, 2020 12:00 am

    I love to work with new ingredients I haven’t before. This radicchio interests me to buy next time. the pasta with sausage and radicchio sounds great.

    • Avatar
      The Pasta Project
      June 8, 2020 6:33 am

      I love using new ingredients too. Hopefully, you get to try this one out!

  • Avatar
    Julie @ Running in a Skirt
    June 1, 2020 7:42 pm

    I don’t use radicchio enough! I didn’t know it was so good for you. Makes me want to try it even more. Love this twist on pasta.

    • Avatar
      The Pasta Project
      June 8, 2020 6:34 am

      You cannot go wring with delicious and healthy!

  • Avatar
    Alexis
    June 1, 2020 6:34 pm

    This dish is amazing! Thank you for the inspiration, you make Italian cooking so easy.

    • Avatar
      The Pasta Project
      June 8, 2020 6:34 am

      Thank you Alexis, that is very kind of you! many of these dishes are very simple to make!

  • Avatar
    Sam
    June 1, 2020 7:15 am

    I am always looking for a good pasta salad! I love the combination of sausage and radicchio in here. Sounds delicious!

    • Avatar
      The Pasta Project
      June 8, 2020 6:35 am

      Thank you, Sam!

  • Avatar
    Gail Montero
    June 1, 2020 4:28 am

    I love that you don’t need a ton of ingredients to make such a tasty pasta dish like this one! Yes, please!

    • Avatar
      The Pasta Project
      June 8, 2020 6:36 am

      Thank you, Gail. It is really easy to make many of the best pasta dishes with only a few ingredients!

  • Avatar
    Sharon
    June 1, 2020 2:38 am

    This dish is easy comfort food that is full of flavor. I love the addition of the radicchio to it.

    • Avatar
      The Pasta Project
      June 8, 2020 6:36 am

      Thank you, Sharon.

  • Avatar
    Ramona
    May 31, 2020 12:14 am

    Made this pasta dish and I can say it was spectacular, kids also loved every mouthful of it- all these flavours! Simple and beautiful recipe. I am saving it as I will be making it again fairly soon.

    • Avatar
      The Pasta Project
      June 1, 2020 6:31 am

      Thank you, Ramona, that is so good to hear!

  • Avatar
    GUNJAN C Dudani
    May 30, 2020 6:04 pm

    Such an interesting recipe. never tried anything like this. I am intrigued into making this tonight.

    • Avatar
      The Pasta Project
      June 1, 2020 6:33 am

      It is simple and delicious, I hope you get to try it!

  • Avatar
    Anna
    May 30, 2020 3:03 pm

    Another fantastic pasta recipe! I made it last night for dinner, as my husband loves pasta and sausage combination. It disappeared quicker than I ever anticipated and the plates were licked clean! Thank you!

    • Avatar
      The Pasta Project
      June 1, 2020 6:38 am

      Fantastic Anna, and it is simple to make, so you can make it any time!

  • Avatar
    Stine Mari
    May 29, 2020 8:22 pm

    That radicchio has such a beautiful color! This pasta dish is spectacular, and I love how festive farfalle always looks!

    • Avatar
      The Pasta Project
      June 1, 2020 6:39 am

      Thank you! I love the colours in the dish too, so subtle.

  • Avatar
    Simone
    May 28, 2020 10:50 am

    I adore radicchio, but haven’t had it in a while. I’ve got to make this, it looks divine!

    • Avatar
      The Pasta Project
      June 1, 2020 6:42 am

      This is a lovely recipe to indulge in your love of radicchio!

  • Avatar
    LaRena Fry
    May 27, 2020 10:56 pm

    Radicchio goes so well with pasta. I love that this is so quick, easy. and sounds so very appetizing and appealing.

    • Avatar
      The Pasta Project
      June 1, 2020 6:43 am

      Thank you, Larena. It is delicious, and definitely a bonus that it is quick and easy to make!

  • Avatar
    AJ
    May 27, 2020 9:08 pm

    Glad to learn about including radicchio in pasta, makes pasta look more colorful. Best thingis that it is healthy and bitterness goes away after cooking.

    • Avatar
      The Pasta Project
      June 1, 2020 6:44 am

      Absolutely AJ! I hope you get to try it!

  • Avatar
    Lesli Schwartz
    May 27, 2020 8:25 pm

    This pasta dish looks amazing! Love Italian sausage and adding in the radicchio is brilliant! Can’t wait to try this dish.

    • Avatar
      The Pasta Project
      June 1, 2020 6:44 am

      Thank you, Lesli!

  • Avatar
    Chef Dennis
    May 27, 2020 10:05 am

    This Sausage and Radicchio Pasta is making me hungry! Just the sight of this dish and I can feel my tummy grumbling!

    • Avatar
      The Pasta Project
      June 1, 2020 6:48 am

      That’s a good thing…isn’t it?! Hopefully you can try it sometime soon!

  • Avatar
    veenaazmanov
    May 27, 2020 8:53 am

    Creamy and delicious and easy to make too. Best Dinner for my family. They love it.

    • Avatar
      The Pasta Project
      June 1, 2020 6:48 am

      That is lovely to hear! Thank you for taking the time to leave feedback!

  • Avatar
    Ai
    May 27, 2020 7:50 am

    This looks so delicious! How many radicchio leaves do I need to use to make this? I don’t see it on the recipe…

    • Jacqui
      Jacqui
      May 27, 2020 8:14 am

      Seems I forgot to add the quantity of radicchio to the recipe. Thanks for pointing that out Ai. You need to use 1-2 heads of radicchio depending on how big they are.

  • Avatar
    Marta
    May 27, 2020 5:14 am

    My favorite flavors are combined in this dish! I love the spiciness of the radicchio and the creamy sauce. The sausage is an added bonus!

    • Avatar
      The Pasta Project
      June 1, 2020 6:58 am

      Absolutely, Marta! The flavours in this dish work together so well!

  • Avatar
    Saif
    May 27, 2020 5:08 am

    I am not familiar with this recipe but this pasta looks absolutely delicious. I love every bit of ingredients you added in this dish.

    • Avatar
      The Pasta Project
      June 1, 2020 6:58 am

      If you try it, please let me know how it goes!

  • Avatar
    Myrah Duque
    May 27, 2020 4:11 am

    Easy and delicious! I haven’t cooked with radicchio yet. I always use sausage with pasta.

    • Avatar
      The Pasta Project
      June 1, 2020 7:05 am

      I think you will love it, Myrah. I do hope you get to try it!

  • Avatar
    Angela
    May 27, 2020 3:09 am

    This is a comforting and hearty sausage with pasta dish.

    • Avatar
      The Pasta Project
      June 1, 2020 7:06 am

      Thank you, Angela! It is filling and delicious!

  • Avatar
    Beth
    May 27, 2020 12:15 am

    I look at radicchio at the market and always wonder what I”d do with it – now I have at least one idea. And I always envy your pasta choices!

    • Avatar
      The Pasta Project
      June 1, 2020 7:11 am

      Now you know 🙂 You must pick some up when you can, I am sure you will love this dish!

  • Avatar
    Rochelle
    May 26, 2020 9:27 pm

    I love cooking with radicchio…this dish looks really delicious :). Bowtie pasta is always a hit in my house

    • Avatar
      The Pasta Project
      June 1, 2020 7:12 am

      Bowties are always good! It sounds like this is the perfect dish for you!

  • Avatar
    Ben
    May 26, 2020 9:20 pm

    I can’t wait to make this. Sausage and pasta are two of my favorite things, so this is perfect for me.

    • Avatar
      The Pasta Project
      June 1, 2020 7:12 am

      It certainly does, Ben! I hope you try it and love it!

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