A splash of red wine vinegar balances the richness of this cheesy pasta and magnifies the pink color of the onions and radicchio. Omit the prosciutto to make this a vegetarian main dish.
Active: 25 mins Total: 1 hr Yield: 6 to 8
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 medium-size red onions, thinly sliced
1 large head radicchio, cored and sliced into 1/2-inch-thick ribbons
2 large garlic cloves, thinly sliced
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
3 1/2 tablespoons kosher salt, divided
6 ounces softened goat cheese, crumbled (about 1 1/2 cups)
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
3 quarts water
1 pound uncooked short pasta (such as gemelli, casarecce, or strozzapreti)
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/8 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
8 ounces fontina cheese, cut into 1/2-inch cubes (about 2 cups), divided
4 ounces thinly sliced prosciutto, torn into 1-inch pieces
Unsalted butter, softened, for greasing baking dish
2 ounces Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, grated (about 1/2 cup)
Preheat oven to 375°F. Heat oil in a 12-inch, high-sided skillet over medium-high. Add onions; cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, 10 to 12 minutes. Stir in radicchio, garlic, vinegar, and 1/2 teaspoon salt; cook, stirring often, until radicchio is just wilted, about 1 minute. Stir in goat cheese and cream; bring to a simmer over medium-high. Remove from heat, and set aside.
Bring 3 quarts water to a boil in a large pot over high. Stir in 3 tablespoons salt. Add pasta, and cook until just shy of al dente, 7 to 9 minutes. Drain; reserve 1 cup cooking liquid. Stir pasta, reserved 1 cup cooking liquid, pepper, nutmeg, and remaining 1 teaspoon salt into radicchio mixture. Fold in 11/2 cups fontina cheese and prosciutto; toss well.
Transfer pasta mixture to a 3-quart baking dish lightly greased with butter. Dot with remaining 1/2 cup fontina cheese; sprinkle with Parmigiano-Reggiano. Bake in preheated oven until golden brown on top and bubbling around edges, 25 to 30 minutes. Let stand 5 minutes before serving.
Pasta can be assembled through step 2 one day ahead. Cover and refrigerate until ready to bake.
Substantial wintertime rosé.