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October 24, 2009

Baked Ziti with Pancetta and Broccolli

Fall is here and it is the perfect time of year for comfort food. This recipe is cheesy, rich and deliciously satisfying for a cool fall day.

1lb box of ziti
Head of brocolli florets
2 cups of shredded Gruyere cheese
1 cup of shredded white sharp cheddar cheese
2 cups fat-free half n' half
1 Tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
3 oz of pancetta, diced
2 Tablespoons of Flour
1 Tablespoon of butter
1/4 cup bread crumbs
Salt, pepper

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a frying pan, fry the pancetta pieces until they are cooked through, but not too crispy. Remove to a plate and set aside. In a large pot, boil the noodles until cooked, but somewhat firm- about 8 minutes. Strain and set aside.

In a large skillet, melt the butter over med-high heat. Add the flour and mix, creating a thick roux. Add the half n' half and whisk until smooth. Heat until it starts to thicken, whisking occasionally. Once the cream mixture is hot and starts to thicken, start sprinkling in the cheeses in small amounts, whisking constantly. Reserve about a cup of the cheese for topping.

Add the broccoli, pancetta and thyme to the cheese mixture. Salt and Pepper to taste. Fold the noodles into the cheese sauce and place in a casserole dish. Top with remaining cheese and breadcrumbs. Bake at 350 for about 30 minutes.


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