Baked Ziti from Vinny Cortese

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Part of our Go-To Pasta series, this recipe for Baked Ziti amped up with crispy pancetta comes to you from Chef de Cuisine Vinny Cortese. Go-To Pasta challenges our chefs and front-of-house staff to create a pasta recipe using only 5 ingredients, aside from water, salt, pepper, olive oil, and their noodle of choice.

Vinny Cortese’s Baked Ziti with Pancetta

Ingredients

½ pound ziti, or other tube-shaped pasta

½ cups tomato sauce, warmed

½ cup diced pancetta

1 cup ricotta cheese

1 cup basil leaves, torn into small pieces

½ cup fresh mozzarella

Directions

Preheat oven to 400ºF.

Begin by redering pancetta in a saute pan until crispy. Add 1 cup of the tomato sauce and stir vigorously to fully incorporate all the rendered pancetta fat.

Toss in cooked rigatoni to desired doneness–we recommend 2 minutes shy of package directions.

Fold in ricotta cheese, then stir in half of the basil.

Pour into a baking dish and top off with the fresh mozzarella cheese, torn into pieces.

Bake for approximately 10 minutes or until you have achieved a pleasant crust and cheese is melted.

Top off with extra basil and warm tomato sauce and dig in immediately!

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