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Baked Penne with Pancetta and Gouda


Baked Penne with Pancetta and Gouda

Elaine Khosrova
An improvement on the mac-and-cheese casserole, this recipe adds veggies and pancetta (substitute thin-sliced smoked deli ham if you can’t find pancetta). If you like a really cheesy crust, feel free to grate extra Gouda on top before baking. Adapted from a recipe by Cypress Grove.
Servings 4


  • ½ pound dried penne pasta
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 6 large cloves garlic finely chopped
  • 1 pint grape tomatoes halved
  • 5 ounces fresh baby spinach
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ pound pancetta
  • cup heavy cream
  • 8 ounces Gouda grated
  • cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • Freshly ground black pepper


  • ► Heat the oven to 375°F.
  • ► Boil the pasta in a large pot of salted water until al dente. Drain and set aside. Meanwhile, in a large skillet heat the oil over medium heat. Add the garlic, and sauté 3 minutes. Add the tomatoes, and toss in the garlic-oil mixture. Cook 5 to 7 minutes, until the tomatoes just begin to soften.
  • ► Stir in half the spinach leaves and half the salt. Cook, stirring, until the spinach wilts, 3 to 4 minutes. Add the remaining spinach and salt, cooking until the spinach is wilted. Remove the skillet from the heat, and stir in the pasta. Stir in the pancetta, the cream, half the Gouda, the Parmesan, and the pepper.
  • ► Transfer the mixture to a buttered deep-dish pie pan or medium- size casserole dish. Sprinkle the remaining Gouda on top, and bake on the top rack of the oven for 20 to 25 minutes or until cheese topping melts and is light brown.

Elaine Khosrova

Elaine Khorova is the original Editor-in-Chief of culture magazine and the current recipe writer extraordinaire. She resides in the Hudson Valley of New York where she is working on a book about the history of butter.

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