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Tagliatelle with Gorgonzola, radicchio, figs and hazelnuts from Piedmont

I like this salty-sweet-bitter combination that goes perfectly on rainy autumn days. As is so often the case, enjoyment stands and falls with the quality of the ingredients used: If you don't get really ripe, sugar-sweet, and juicy figs, you better leave them out and instead use pear slices, which you poach in lightly sugared white wine flavored with a little lemon juice. For the hazelnuts, I recommend roasted organic hazelnuts from Piedmont – they are by far the best! I bought mine locally from «Morgana del Re», an organic hazelnut producer that I visited as part of a stay in Piedmont that I was invited to by the cultural association Serafina. ( Here is my report!)

(If you can't get Piedmontese hazelnuts, roast the nuts yourself in the oven: at 160°C for about 15 minutes, then rub off the skins with a cloth.)

Ingredients (for 4 servings)

pasta dough
200g white flour
100g durum wheat semolina/steam
3 eggs

300g radicchio
200g Gorgonzola
8 ripe figs (approx. 250g)
50g roasted hazelnuts

To serve
Extra hard cheese (like pecorino)
olive oil

Cut the radicchio into long, fine strips. Cut the gorgonzola into pieces. Eighth the figs. Roughly chop the toasted hazelnuts.

Bring plenty of water to a boil in a large saucepan, and salt well.

Heat some olive oil in a large frying pan, add the radicchio, and salt, and sauté for about 2 minutes, turning, until it just wilts. Add the Gorgonzola and let it melt in the remaining heat.

Cook the tagliatelle al dente, and drain, reserving some of the cooking water. Add the pasta to the radicchio, add the figs, hazelnuts, and a little cooking water. Mix carefully, and add salt to taste. Divide the pasta between plates and serve with freshly grated extra hard cheese, pepper, and a filo d'olio.

*This receipt was written by Anna Pearson from ( who visited the farm of Morgana del Re for Serafina the cultural association of Yvonne from the magical houses of Serafina

Shari Wijnhoud