Orecchiette with Greens and Radishes

If you're anything like me, you've spent the last couple weeks indulging in some holiday meals and drinks and sweet treats. It's okay. We all do it. You might be feeling about ready to start your January diet. Well, why don't you wait an extra couple of days? 2011 isn't over yet. There's still time to sneak in one last not-so-healthy dinner of cheesy pasta topped with crunchy breadcrumbs. Would it help if I told you it had some vegetables in it (sauteed in butter, but still)? I promise, it's crazy delicious. Your New Year's resolutions can wait.

Orecchiette with Greens and Radishes
From Bon Appetit
  • 5 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
  • 3/4 cup coarse fresh breadcrumbs made from whole wheat bread
  • 2 teaspoons finely grated lemon zest
  • 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 pound orecchiette
  • Kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 1 bunch radishes (about 6-8), sliced into 1/4" rounds
  • 3 garlic cloves, sliced
  • 2 bunches greens, such as escarole or chard, trimmed and chopped
  • 1 cup finely grated Parmesan
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon cracked black peppercorns
Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add breadcrumbs and toast, stirring frequently, until golden and crisp, 4-5 minutes. Transfer to a small bowl; stir in lemon zest and red pepper flakes. Set aside.

Cook pasta in a large pot of boiling salted water, stirring occasionally, until tender but still firm to the bite. Drain, reserving 2 cups of pasta cooking liquid.

Meanwhile, heat 1 tablespoon oil and butter in a large deep skillet over medium-high heat. Add radishes; cook, stirring often, until browned in spots but still crisp-tender, about 2 minutes. Transfer to a small bowl.

Add remaining 2 tablespoons oil and garlic to skillet; stir until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add greens and 1 cup pasta cooking liquid and cook, stirring often, until greens start to wilt. Add pasta and cheese; stir until cheese melts and sauce is slightly thickened, adding more pasta cooking liquid by 1/4-cupfuls if too dry. Stir in radishes, lemon juice, and pepper. Season with salt. Sprinkle with breadcrumb mixture.