Today's recipe from On Top of Spaghetti is a baked-pasta dish that's ridiculously good. And ridiculously rich, too--so eat slowly, savor each magnificent bite, and, if it helps, eat less.
Pasta Baked with Radicchio, Gorgonzola, and Pancetta
- 2 1/2 cups heavy cream
- 1/2 cup chicken stock
- 2 cups finely shredded radicchio or Belgian endive
- 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
- 1/2 cup freshly grated Pecorino Romano
- 1/2 cup freshly grated Fontina cheese
- 1/4 cup finely crumbled Gorgonzola
- 1/2 teaspoon or more kosher or sea salt
- 1 pound dried pasta shells or rotini
- 1/4 cup finely chopped pancetta
Heat the oven to 500 degrees. Bring a large pot of water to a boil
In a large mixing bowl, combine the cream, stock, radicchio, all the cheeses, and salt. Taste and add more salt if necessary. Set the sauce mixture aside.
Generously salt the boiling water and drop in the pasta. Cook, stirring often, for 4 to 5 minutes. The pasta will be parboiled and too hard to eat; it cooks further in the oven. Drain the pasta, reserving about 1 cup water. Transfer the macaroni to the mixing bowl and combine thoroughly with the sauce mixture. If the sauce seems too thick, add some of the reserved water, a tablespoon at a time, until the pasta moves freely and is surrounded by liquid.
Transfer to individual shallow baking dishes or to 1 or 2 large shallow baking dishes. Evenly distribute the pancetta over the surface and bake for 8 to 10 minutes, or until the pasta is bubbly hot, with bits of browned pancetta and pasta poking out on top. Serve right away.