Venetian Dishes
oven baked, pasta, pasticcio, lasagna, oven baked lasagna, sausage, radicchio, chickory

Pasticcio with Radicchio and Sausage

  • Portions: 10/12
  • Time: 1 hr. + 1 hr. bake
  • Difficulty: medium
  • Ingredients
For a 12 portion pan

  • Milk - 2 liters
  • All porpouse flour - 200 g
  • Butter - 200 g
  • Nutmeg - 2 pinches
  • Radicchio - 4 heads
  • A piece of fresh leek
  • Fresh sausages - 4
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt and pepper
  • Parmesan cheese
  • Dried corn lasagne - about 400 g (depending on the size of the pan)
  • Milk - two coffee cups
Winter in Veneto has that color of fog, frosts and clear days that make you feel the cold through the nostrils, when you simply breathe the humid air.
For someone it may seem that living here in the cold season is rather boring and difficult, but for those born there is not a problem: driving in the fog doesn't scare me, the gray does not sadden me and I tolerate better the cold, not the heat.

The first frosts can also donate vegetables that otherwise we can not bring to the table: the broccolo Fiolaro di Creazzo, for example, or the more known radicchio tardivo of Treviso.
The bitter taste is typical of the Venetian cuisine, we find it in many dishes and we are strongly accustomed: just the radicchio tardivo, which belongs to the chicory family, is a worthy representative of this taste and in this period is the prince of risottos, or it is grilled and seasoned with a generous dose of olive oil, or is marinated in saoras like sardines or simply eaten raw, in salads.
Please note that to be the authentic Radicchio Rosso di Treviso PGI, however, it must come from the typical area between the provinces of Treviso, Padua and Venice: it must be obtained according to the traditional forcing and bleaching technique during which the bunches after harvesting are placed in tanks filled with resurgent running water.
After about fifteen days, once the new shoots are obtained, it is cleaned, washed and packaged for distribution.

In the next few days I will receive a visit from a friend who will take a walk around the Venetian provinces and will stop in Venice in particular. I decided to invite her to dinner and to propose a lasagna with radicchio and sausage: I really like this combination because I think the radicchio matches well with the salinity and the fat sensation of the sausage, helping with its bitterness to make up for it.
I would like to make her feel at home as much as possible and a dish as comforting as a baked lasagna, but here we call Pasticcio, I think is the most suitable: I prepare a soft and buttery béchamel, I stew the radicchio with a piece of leek to perfume and enrich it and then add the crumbs of sausage toasted in a pan. When there is this Pasticcio on the table, I do not eat anything else because I always exaggerate with the portions.

By the way, I suggested to my friend where to stay in Venice and I tell you too: since I have never been disappointed in other areas of Italy, if you're looking for a convenient and reliable center I recommend these Hotel in Venezia of the Best Western. Central, well-kept, clean and modern, given the difficulty in choosing from the thousand structures of this beautiful city of art, I think a practical advice can be well appreciated: if you need more info click on the link or contact me without hesitation.

Now I start cooking, I would not want my friend to come and find nothing ready.
For the radicchio: cut the final woody part and then reduce to small pieces. Slice the leek finely and add it to the radicchio, then cook in a pan over medium heat with a round of oil and a little salt and pepper, until they change color and are softened.

For sausages: remove the outer peel, cut into small pieces and cook in a non-stick pan without adding fat. Once cooked, drain from any liquid that will form and put it aside to cool.

For the bechamel sauce: place a small saucepan on the stove with the milk to heat and another pot with the butter, the flour, a pinch of salt and the nutmeg. With a wooden spoon mix constantly and carefully the batter until they become a cream (roux) and gradually add the warmed milk, always stirring with a whisk to avoid lumps. It will thicken quickly, then take it off the fire.

Now compose the lasagna.

Grease the bottom of the pan with oil and put over a layer of raw pasta.
Cover with a bit of bechamel, radicchio, sausage and parmesan, distributing them for good.
Proceed like this until the ingredients are finished.
Pour the two cups of milk on the surface and bake for about 1 hour at 180 degrees: use a fork to try if the lasagna are cooked and if it colors too quickly on the surface cover it with an aluminium foil.
Let it rest for a few minutes when you remove it from the oven before serving.

* The recipe contains gluten only for the flour used in bechamel. You can absolutely replace it with cornstarch, however reducing the weight in 80 g and following this procedure:
  • melt the butter, salt and nutmeg in a saucepan
  • mix the milk at room temperature with the cornstarch and mix it very well
  • pour the milk into the butter and put it on low heat, ALWAYS WHISKING to does not thicken the béchamel
  • It is important to verify that the individual ingredients have the inscription of the "gluten-free". The pasta I used is the "le Veneziane" line of the Molino di Ferro.