Rigatoni with Summer Fresh Tomatoes, Pancetta and Mozzarella


* 1 pound rigatoni or similar pasta
* 3 tablespoons olive oil
* 2 ounces pancetta, diced (optional)
* 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, cut into small cubes
* Freshly grated Parmesan or Romano cheese


Cook the pasta according to package directions for al dente. Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a large sauteé 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. Drain the cooked pasta 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 separately.
Bella Mozzarella
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