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
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
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!