Earlier this week, Stanley Tucci’s TikTok caught our attention and we immediately stopped scrolling our FYP. In the video, Tucci stands in his kitchen with a sweater tied around his neck walking us through something he made using leftover farfalle. Maybe it’s Tucci’s confident, nonchalant ways or maybe it’s the pasta—either way, we’re here to tell you that you need to go watch this man.
Then come back, because we broke the recipe down and answered any potential questions you may have, so that you can cook it with as much confidence as Tucci has when he presents it to Gen Z.
Stanley Tucci’s Pasta Bake, As Explained On TikTok
This is how Tucci explains he made the pasta: The recipe starts with leftover farfalle, or as he describes, “little bow ties, butterflies, whatever.” He placed sautéed garlic, onion, pancetta, and peas into a casserole dish with the pasta. Then he mixed in béchamel sauce, or “besciamella” as Tucci and fellow Italians say. The final touch before it went into his toaster oven: knobs of butter and Parmesan on top. The baked pasta Tucci pulls out of the oven looks incredibly delicious.
Your Potential Questions Answered
What if you don’t have farfalle? How exactly do you sauté the vegetables? The pancetta? What is béchamel sauce? How long do I bake the pasta? We’re here to answer all your potential questions.
Use any pasta you have: While we’re inclined to follow Tucci’s every word, any short pasta like fusilli, conchiglie, elbows, orecchiette, or even penne or ziti would work. No leftover pasta? Cook some right now—we don’t have to tell Tucci. Just make sure it’s al dente! Let’s say you need about a quarter to a half pound (measured dry) of pasta.
How to sauté the vegetables and pancetta: In a medium skillet, heat a tablespoon of olive oil over medium heat. Add about a quarter pound of diced pancetta and cook it until crispy. Add a clove or two of chopped garlic and half of a small diced onion. Cook until tender, then add a cup of peas—frozen is fine. Stir until the peas are thawed and warmed through, but still vibrant green.
How to make béchamel sauce: Béchamel is a creamy white sauce made with flour, milk, and butter—it’s one of the French mother sauces. The Italian version, besciamella, typically includes a dash of nutmeg, an addition we love. You can make a homemade béchamel or use a store-bought béchamel or jarred alfredo sauce—we’d go light on the Parmesan at the end if so.
How to bake the pasta: Bake the casserole for 10 to 15 minutes at 425°F until the pasta is warmed through and the Parmesan on top looks lightly toasted. You could broil it for a minute at the end for extra crisp edges.
Grab a glass of red wine and get right to it, regardless of what time of day it is—Tucci made the whole thing before 10 a.m.!