Rigatoni Pasta with Summer Fresh Tomatoes, Pancetta and Mozzarella Cheese
Serves 4 to 6
This pasta recipe is quick, easy, healthy and delicious. The pancetta, Italian bacon that is cured but not smoked, adds a wonderful flavor but it can be omitted for a vegetarian presentation, adding a little more olive oil as needed. Fresh mozzarella cheese is the perfect choice for this recipe. However, any good-quality mozzarella, whole or part-skim, will do very well.
- 1 pound rigatoni or similar pasta, white, multigrain or whole wheat
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 ounces pancetta, diced
- 1 small onion, finely chopped (about 1 cup)
- 4 large garlic cloves, minced
- 2 pounds fresh plum tomatoes, halved, seeded, and coarsely chopped
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 4 ounces mozzarella cheese, preferably fresh, cut into small cubes
- Freshly grated Parmesan or Romano cheese
Heat the olive oil in a large sauté pan or skillet over medium-high heat. Add the pancetta and onions and sauté until the onions are softened, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and sauté another minute. Add the tomatoes, salt and pepper. Sauté until the tomatoes are broken and juicy, about 10 minutes. Add the basil and taste for seasoning.
Meanwhile, cook the pasta according to package directions for al dente. Drain and add to the sauce. Add the mozzarella cheese and toss well. Cover and heat until the cheese is slightly melted. Serve immediately, passing the Parmesan or Romano cheese separately.