Vodka Radicchio Pasta Salad


Description Sun Dried Tomato – Vodka Vinaigrett
Developed by Chef Brant Good, CEC Executive Chef, The Sardine Factory Restaurant Monterey, CA

1-2 shallots, quartered
1-2 garlic cloves, halved
8 sun-dried tomato halves in oil, drained and chopped
1 shot vodka
2 tablespoons white balsamic vinegar
1 teaspoon prepared horseradish
¼ teaspoon celery salt
½ cup olive oil
Sea Salt and freshly ground Black Pepper (to taste)


1 head Royal Rose Radicchio (quartered)
Olive Oil, for brushing
Ice Water
Sea Salt


6 oz. Orrechette Pasta, cooked, chilled (pancetta or mildly smoked bacon can be used.)
2 tablespoons Olive Oil
½ cup sliced Portobellini (Cremini) Mushrooms
1 tablespoon drained capers
1 tablespoon diced roasted pepper
1 shot Vodka
Radicchio, chopped, grilled
Sun Dried Tomato Vinaigrette
Sea Salt and freshly ground Black Pepper (to taste)
Shaved Reggiano Parmagianno Cheese


In a food processor or blender mix shallots and garlic cloves. Stop the machine, add tomato halves, vodka, vinegar, horseradish, celery salt, sea salt and pepper – process until finely minced.

With machine running, slowly pour olive oil through feed tube and process until smooth. Taste and adjust seasonings. Set aside.


Remove outer leaves of radicchio and reserve to use as cups to serve the salad in, if desired.

Cut radicchio into quarters, leaving core in and place in ice water for around 20 minutes (this will help remove some of the bitterness).

Remove from ice water, shake out water, then pat dry. Brush radicchio generously with olive oil, sprinkle with salt. Grill radicchio over high heat, uncovered. Keep an eye on them, as they blacken quickly. You want a little browning, but not a cinder. When done, move to bowl and bring inside to chop, removing core first. Set aside.


In a sauté pan heat olive oil over medium high heat, render Guanciale (pancetta or bacon) in olive oil until brown and crisp. Add mushrooms, capers and roasted peppers. Sauté until mushrooms have softened slightly.

Carefully drain oil from pan and return to heat, deglaze with Vodka. Allow Vodka to reduce by half, add pasta, chopped radicchio and tomato vinaigrette. Toss well to slightly warm pasta.

Remove from heat, season with salt and pepper , garnish with shaved cheese. Place four equal portions in Radicchio leaf cups, then serve immediately.