Pesto Pasta with Charred Radicchio

No basil? No problem. You probably have everything you need for homemade pesto using Sheela's any-herb recipe for this pasta dinner.

Pesto Pasta with Charred Radicchio
Photo: Carson Downing
Total Time:
25 mins


  • 12 ounce rigatoni or other tubular pasta

  • 1 medium or 2 small heads radicchio, cored, quartered, and cut crosswise into 1-inch-wide strips

  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

  • Any Herb Pesto (see recipe) or 3/4 cup quality store-bought pesto

  • Freshly grated Parmesan cheese


  1. Place a rack in top third of oven and preheat broiler. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add pasta and cook according to package instructions until al dente.

  2. Place radicchio on a rimmed sheet pan. Drizzle with 1 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil, season with kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, and toss. Spread into a single layer and broil until radicchio just begins to wilt and edges are lightly charred, 2 to 3 minutes.

  3. Reserve 1/4 cup of the pasta water, then drain pasta. Return pasta to pot. Add pesto and toss to combine. If needed, add reserved pasta water, a spoonful at a time, to loosen sauce so pasta is evenly coated. (You may not use all the pasta water.) Add radicchio, toss again, and serve garnished with grated Parmesan. Serves 4.

Any Herb Pesto

Place 2 crushed garlic cloves and 1/4 cup toasted nuts or seeds (such as pine nuts, walnuts, hazelnuts, almonds, pepitas, and/or sesame seeds) into bowl of a food processor and pulse a few times until roughly chopped. Add 2 cups packed tender herb leaves or greens and 1 ice cube - to shock the herbs and prevent browning - and pulse until roughly chopped. Add 1/3 cup olive oil, 1/4 cup packed finely grated hard cheese (such as Parmesan, Pecorino, and/or Asiago), 1/2 tsp. fresh lemon juice, and a big pinch kosher salt. Process until the mixture comes together. Taste and season. Use immediately or refrigerate for up to 1 week.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)

629 Calories
32g Fat
71g Carbs
17g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Servings Per Recipe 4
Calories 629
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 32g 41%
Saturated Fat 5g 25%
Cholesterol 9mg 3%
Sodium 274mg 12%
Total Carbohydrate 71g 26%
Total Sugars 3g
Protein 17g
Vitamin C 10.8mg 54%
Calcium 160mg 12%
Iron 4.5mg 25%
Potassium 563mg 12%
Folate, total 26.1mcg
Vitamin B-12 0.1mcg
Vitamin B-6 0.2mg

*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.

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