This is an amazing dish that is absolutely creamy and delicious! It is a great side dish because it pairs nicely with so many main courses, such as our Pot Roast with Mushrooms with Gravy (and you can access that recipe easily by clicking on that recipe title), or any of our veal dishes. It is even a great side for a fish dish.
No special culinary equipment is needed to prepare this special baked pasta course.
One 12-ounce package of Rotini Pasta (Note: the tri-color rotini pasta adds a nice look to this pasta dish.)
2 tablespoons of Salt – used for the pasta water
One full recipe of Béchamel Sauce (and you can easily access that recipe by clicking on that recipe title)
6 ounces of Pancetta, cubed
6 ounces of an Italian Cheese Blend (that could include a mixture of three or four of any of the following: Provolone, Asiago, Romano, Fontina, or Parmesan cheese)
½ cup of Heavy Whipping Cream
4 cloves of Garlic, minced
1 Shallot, finely chopped
½ cup of Red Onion, finely chopped
1 Green Onion, finely chopped
¼ cup of Italian Breadcrumbs
¼ cup of Parmesan Cheese, grated
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Fill a large stockpot about three-quarters full of water and add the salt. Bring the water to a boil. While the water is heating, make the Béchamel Sauce (and you can easily access that recipe by clicking on that recipe title). Keep the Béchamel Sauce warm while preparing the remaining items. In a small sauté pan, cook the pancetta until it is crisp and then set it aside -- draining all the grease from the pancetta. Add 2 tablespoons of butter to the same sauté pan that you cooked the pancetta in and heat it over a medium heat. Once the butter has melted, add the garlic, the shallot, the red and green onions, and sauté until these are translucent. Then, remove it from heat and set it aside. Once the pasta water is boiling, add the pasta and cook it according to the directions on the container of the pasta; the pasta should be “al dente”. Once the pasta has cooked, strain it and put it into a large, oven proof bowl. Add the Béchamel Sauce, the cheeses, the pancetta cubes, the cream, the garlic, and the onion mixture, and mix until all the ingredients are mixed well together. Add the salt and black pepper to taste. Sprinkle the breadcrumbs and Parmesan cheese on top and then place the pasta into the pre-heated oven for 30 minutes.
The top should be turning brown and crispy and the pasta should be creamy and “cheesy”!