White carbs, cream, cheese and pancetta; not the healthiest collection of ingredients but undoubtedly ones that know how to have a good time when they get together and artichokes are more than happy to join the party. It’s a rich, indulgent dish and using the Artichoke Pesto takes it up a few notches and makes it one to savour.
70g pancetta, rind removed and cut into cubes
1 tbsp olive oil
1 onion, finely diced
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
4 tbsp Artichoke Pesto
120ml whole milk
150ml double cream
75g grated parmesan
Salt and pepper to taste
150g mozzarella, sliced into 1cm rounds
Put a pan of salted water on the heat and bring to the boil. Add the rigatoni and cook for 8 -10 minutes, so the pasta is cooked but still has a little bite. Drain and rinse with cold water and leave to sit in a colander.
Heat an oven to 190C.
Put a medium sized pan on a medium heat and when hot, add the pancetta. Once it has released some of its fat, add the onion, garlic and olive oil and cook for around 10 minutes or until soft. Add the Artichoke Pesto, cream, milk and 50g parmesan and allow everything to mix and warm up. Taste and add salt and pepper if desired.
Transfer everything to a deep dish around 20cm diameter, along with the rigatoni and mix, making sure the pasta is well coated. Layer the mozzarella over the top, followed by the breadcrumbs and then the remaining parmesan. Bake in the oven for 20-25 minutes, until bubbling occurs around the edges and the crust has browned. If it starts to colour too soon, cover with foil. Allow to cool a little before dishing up and serve with a crisp leaf salad.