Honeycomb Ziti with Cream

Yield: 6 servings


  • Sauce
    • 4 oz pancetta
    • 3 cloves garlic, minced
    • 2 tsp flour
    • 1 cup whole milk
    • 3/4 cup heavy whipping cream
    • 1/4 tsp cardamom
    • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
    • 1/4 tsp black pepper
    • 2 tsp Dijon mustard
    • 1 1/2 cups shredded gouda
  • Pasta
    • 16 oz. ziti pasta, cooked according to package directions to al dente
    • 1 tbsp butter
    • 1/2 tsp flour


  1. Pulse the pancetta in a food processor until you have a paste.
  2. In medium pot, cook the pancetta over medium heat until lightly browned and much of the fat has been rendered.  add the minced garlic & flour, and cook until fragrant.  Whisk in the milk, cream, spices, and Dijon mustard.
  3. Combine the sauce with the shredded grouda.  Mix it together as it melts.
  4. Pour the sauce over the cooked pasta and toss together by hand to coat.
  5. Place a round 9" springform mold in a non-stick skillet.  (A well-seasoned cast iron skillet works well)  Warm over medium heat.  Add the butter and flour, and whisk together as it melts.  Turn off the heat.
  6. Arrange the ziti vertically in the mold.  Make sure the bottom ends are touching the skillet.  If there is any extra sauce or cheese in the mixing bowl, pour it over the pasta.
  7. Cook in the skillet over medium-low heat with a lid on top (to help ensure the cheese melts) until the bottom layer is browned, about five minutes.
  8. Use a spatula to gently separate from the bottom of the skillet.
  9. Place the serving dish upside-down on top of the skillet, and then invert to drop the pasta & mold onto the place.  Get an assistant to hold the dish and lift the skillet off.
  10. Remove the mold, and you're left with the pasta standing upright.
  11. Serve warm.  If desired, top with additional gouda cheese (which can be melted using a kitchen blow torch.
Adapted from Lady and Pups.