broccoli and pancetta pasta bake

  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
  • 1 tablespoon thyme leaves
  • sea salt and cracked black pepper
  • 400g penne 
  • 2 heads broccoli florets, cut into florets
  • 2 cups (500ml) single (pouring) cream
  • 1 tablespoon lemon rind
  • 2 cups (200g) grated mozzarella
  • 100g flat pancetta, thinly sliced into lardoons
  • 2 cups (140g) sourdough breadcrumbs
  1. Preheat oven to 180°C (350°F). Heat the oil in a large frying pan over medium heat. 
  2. Add the onion, garlic, thyme, salt and pepper and cook for 5–6 minutes or until softened. 
  3. Cook the pasta in a large saucepan of salted boiling water for 8–10 minutes or until al dente. 
  4. Add the broccoli and cook for 30 seconds or until just tender. Drain well. 
  5. Place the pasta, broccoli, cream, lemon rind, onion mixture and half of the mozzarella in an 18cm x 32cm deep-sided oven dish and stir to combine.
  6. Top with the pancetta, breadcrumbs and remaining mozzarella.
  7. Cook for 30–35 minutes or until golden brown and crisp. Serve. Serves 4–6.

tips + tricks

+ This pasta can be cooked up to one day in advance and stored, covered, in the fridge. Reheat in the oven at 160°C.

+ If flat pancetta is unavailable, you can also use streaky bacon.

+ We used penne, but you can use any short pasta you like, such as macaroni, fusilli or rigatoni.

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