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Recipe for mozzarella and radicchio ziti

Radicchio's bitter edge mellows after a few seconds in a hot pan that can also turn firm grape tomatoes into almost-bursting beauties for this bowl of Mozzarella and Radicchio Ziti.  Deb Lindsey for the Washington Post.
Radicchio's bitter edge mellows after a few seconds in a hot pan that can also turn firm grape tomatoes into almost-bursting beauties for this bowl of Mozzarella and Radicchio Ziti. Deb Lindsey for the Washington Post.
Published Mar. 19, 2018

here's something to be learned from even the simplest recipes, and this bowl proves the point.

Radicchio's bitter edge mellows once this vivid chicory spends seconds in a hot pan. That same pan, graced with a little olive oil, can then immediately coax firm grape tomatoes into almost-bursting beauties. Ziti tends to get baked into cheesy casseroles, and therefore I don't use it much. But a good dried brand of the pasta yields tender noodles seemingly made for spearing with a fork — especially when a small pillow of mozzarella comes along.

Toss those with more olive oil, the crunch of slender chives and a helping of nutty sesame seeds — the kind you can buy already roasted, on the Asian ingredients aisle — and the dish is done. I have to say, the sesame seeds bring the components together in an unexpected way.

While it's warm and filling and cheerful to behold, it can serve as a terrific pasta salad for lunch the next day.

Bonnie S. Benwick, Washington Post