A great company dish because it impresses in its simplicity while being so delicious.
- 1 Stick Butter – unsalted, sliced
- ½ Cup + 2 Tbs Flour
- 1 Quart Whole Milk – room temperature
- Pinch of Nutmeg
- Sea Salt and Freshly Ground Pepper
- 1 Cup Grated Fontina
- 3 – 4 Oz Pancetta – sliced and rough chopped
- 1 Lb Rigatoni
- 2 Tbs Butter – unsalted, diced
For The Bechamel:
- In a small pan, cook the pancetta just until translucent. Do not let it crisp.
- In a 2-quart saucepan, melt the stick of butter over medium heat.
- Add the flour and whisk until smooth -about 2 minutes.
- Always stirring, gradually add the milk and continue to whisk until the sauce is smooth and creamy.
- Simmer until it is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon. This will take approximately 10 minutes.
- Remove from the heat and stir in the nutmeg, ½ cup Fontina, pancetta with its drippings and taste before seasonings with salt and pepper. Set aside.
For The Pasta:
- In a large pot, bring about 6 quarts of water to a boil, add the salt and rigatoni.
- Stir well so that the pasta does not stick to the bottom of the pot. Continue to cook for about 5 or 6 minutes. You do not want the pasta to be too cooked because you will continue to bake it in the oven. But it should have a little softness to it.
- Drain the pasta and return it to the pot.
- Pour in the Bechamel sauce and using a wooden spoon mix it well, making sure that all the pasta is coated with the sauce.
- To BAKE: Into a greased 9” X 13” baking dish, pour the pasta scraping the pot to make sure you get all the cream sauce. Smooth the top and sprinkle the remaining ½ cup of Fontina over all. Dot with diced Butter and bake in the oven at 425° for 25 – 30 minutes until the top is golden brown and bubbly. When serving, pass some freshly grated cheese.