- Butter for greasing pan
- 2 tablespoons olive oil or more if needed
- 6 ounces pancetta chopped
- 4 teaspoons minced garlic
- 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
- 7 cups whole milk
- 8 ounces Fontina cheese grated
- 4 ounces mozzarella cheese grated
- 3/4 cup freshly-grated Parmesan
- 6 ounces provolone cheese grated
- 1 pound rigatoni pasta
- 3 tablespoons chopped fresh Italian parsley leaves
- 3 tablespoons chopped fresh basil leaves
- Salt to taste
- Freshly-ground black pepper to taste
- 2 cups fresh coarse bread crumbs
- Extra-virgin olive oil for drizzling
Butter a 13- by 9- by 2-inch baking dish. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a heavy large pot over medium-high heat. Add the pancetta and saute until golden and crisp, about 5 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the pancetta to a small bowl.
Pour off all but 1/4 cup of the pan drippings (if necessary, add more oil to the pan drippings to equal 1/4 cup total). Reduce the heat to medium. Add 3 teaspoons of garlic and saute until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the flour and whisk for 2 minutes. Gradually whisk in the milk. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce the heat to medium and simmer until the sauce thickens slightly, whisking often, about 5 minutes. Gradually whisk in all the Fontina, mozzarella, Parmesan, and provolone cheeses.
Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the rigatoni and cook until almost al dente, stirring occasionally, about 7 minutes. (The pasta will continue cooking in the oven.) Drain pasta and add directly into the cheese. Add the parsley, basil, and pancetta and toss to coat. Season the pasta mixture, to taste, with salt and pepper. Transfer the pasta mixture to the prepared dish.
Heat the remaining 1 tablespoon of oil in a heavy large skillet over medium heat. Add the remaining garlic and saute until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Remove from the heat. Add the bread crumbs and toss to coat. Sprinkle the bread crumb mixture over the pasta mixture. Drizzle the top with extra-virgin olive oil and bake until the sauce bubbles and the bread crumbs are golden brown, about 20 minutes.
This recipe yields 8 servings.