Radiatori with Pesto, Mozzarella and Smoked Salmon

Radiatori pasta with pesto, smoked salmon and mozzarella

Radiatori (radiator) pasta is, for our eyes anyway, not a pretty shape. It's fun to eat with pesto thanks to all the twists, turns, and grooves that provide the sauce with plentiful places to hide, but look at it uncooked, and it just looks a bit... well, industrial.

Depending on which story you read, this oddity was either invented sometime between the two World Wars or by a designer in the 1960s who modelled it on the radiator grill of a Bugatti car. Either way, it's pretty safe to say that this misfit could never have been conceived before the industrial revolution, making it one of the 'newer' pasta shapes.

Because of its relative youth, radiatori is not restrained by centuries of tradition, where a certain shape "must" be paired with a certain sauce or certain ingredients. We rather like that, because it gives us a free rein to pair it with whatever the hell we want without fear of being whacked by the pasta police.

Ingredients for two

Radiatori 150g
Pesto 100g
Mozzarella balls x20
Cherry tomatoes x12
Smoked salmon 100g
Garnishes optional

Chop the cherry tomatoes in half and tear the salmon into bite-size strips.

Cook the radiatori according to pack instructions until al dente. Drain, reserving a tablespoon of the starchy pasta water.

Stir through the pesto, water, mozzarella balls, salmon, and tomatoes, and garnish with some micro-greens and Parmesan.

Radiatori pasta shape