Lemon baked ziti with pancetta and shredded chicken

Recipe by Jackie Ruby. Photographs by Michaela Zalko.


I may be WAG’s Saucy Realtor, but this is one time I say, no tomatoes. Bring on the lemons.

This lemon baked ziti with pancetta and shredded chicken is the perfect light dish for spring. Once you make this, your friends will be stopping by for seconds. Enjoy! – Jackie Ruby


•   1 pound ziti

•   12 ounces sliced pancetta

•   1 cup shredded chicken (optional)

•   ½ stick unsalted butter

•   ¾ cup grated Parmesan

•   1 teaspoon salt

•   ¼ teaspoon white pepper

•   ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg

•   1 cup chopped basil

•   2 tablespoons chopped thyme

•   ¼ cup fresh lemon juice

•   Zest of 2 lemons

•   2 cups shredded mozzarella

•   ½ cup flour

•   3 ½ cups chicken broth


•   2/3 cup panko seasoned breadcrumbs

•   1/3 cup Parmesan



1.  Cook pasta 8-10 minutes in a large pot of salted boiling water. Drain and put aside.

2.  Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a nonstick pan and add pancetta.

3.  Cook until brown and crispy, 6-8 minutes. Remove and drain on paper towel.

4.  Crumble pancetta and put aside.

5.  Use a 4-quart saucepan and melt the butter over medium heat.

6.  Add the flour slowly and whisk constantly to prevent lumps.

7.  Gradually add the chicken broth and stir.

8.  Remove the pan from the stove and stir in the Parmesan, salt, pepper and nutmeg.

9.   In a large bowl, combine the cheese sauce, cooked pancetta, pasta, basil and thyme.

10.  Stir in the lemon juice, shredded mozzarella and shredded chicken. Toss until the ingredients are coated. Pour mixture into a greased 13 x 9-inch ceramic baking dish.

11.  Sprinkle breadcrumbs and Parmesan cheese over the top and drizzle with olive oil.
Bake at 350 degrees until top is golden brown – 25 minutes.

Serves 8.

For more, contact Jackie at jacquelineruby@hotmail.com.

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