Penne Alla Vodka

Penne Alla Vodka

I had heard about Penne Alla Vodka long before I decided to give it a shot. Perhaps it was my not so fond memories involving vodka that we won’t really go into detail about here, that prevented me from trying it. But my 21st birthday aside, I gave it a shot recently and fell in love with it. The vodka is not over-powering but compliments the tomatoes, cream and bacon, yes bacon, very nicely.

We’ve all heard it before: everything is better with bacon. Well, maybe not everything, but most things. Take this pasta for instance, I decided to add bacon to this recipe because I love the smoky flavor and the little bit of crunch that it adds to the sauce. With that said, I know that not everyone thinks that everything is better with bacon. If you are vegetarian or (gasp!) don’t like bacon, simply omit the bacon and substitute 1 tablespoon of olive oil for the bacon drippings.

The Recipe

  • Serves 4 - 6
  • Prep time:
  • Cook time:

Ingredients:

  • 5 slices bacon, diced into 1 inch pieces
  • 1/2 medium yellow onion, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 1/4 cup vodka
  • 1 (28 ounce) can crushed tomatoes
  • 1 pound dried penne pasta
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 5 basil leaves, rolled together and chopped
  • 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
  • fresh cracked pepper and kosher salt

Instructions:

  1. In a large pan cook bacon over medium heat until browned, about 5 ā€“ 7 minutes. Transfer bacon to a plate and set aside.
  2. Reserve 1 tablespoon of bacon drippings. Add onions, garlic and crushed red pepper to reserved bacon drippings and cook until onions are translucent about 5 minutes. Pour in vodka. Cook 3 minutes. Pour in tomatoes. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and allow to simmer for 20 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  3. While the sauce is simmering, bring a large pot of water to a boil and cook pasta according to package directions. Drain. Set aside.
  4. After sauce has simmered for 20 minutes, whisk 1 tablespoon of sauce into cream to temper it. Slowly stir tempered cream into the tomato sauce. Add cooked pasta to the sauce. Stir to combine.
  5. Return bacon to the pasta and stir in basil and Parmesan cheese. Stir to combine. Adjust seasoning with salt and pepper if needed.
  6. Serve with plenty of grated Parmesan cheese and crushed red peppers.

Enjoy!

  • http://sites.google.com/site/kruasuanphakfarmfreshvegetable/ amlalalolo

    thank for recipe

  • http://www.thelindensmithlife.com Caryn

    I’ve made a recipe like this before and absolutely loved it. Since then I have quit drinking and don’t really wish to buy a bottle of vodka for the sole purpose of making one recipe. Any idea? Could I just leave it out or is there some magical substitute that would do that trick. Thanks!

  • http://www.learnfoodphotography.com Neel | Learn Food Photography

    I love pasta.

    Absolutely love it.

    This is a very interesting photograph. Reminds me of the 8 inspirational pasta shots I saw couple of weeks back.

    Thank you for sharing, Neel

  • http://familyfriendsandfood.blogspot.com patsy

    That is one of my favorite dishes when we go to Italian restaurants! I should try making it at home as it does seem to be a simple enough recipe. Your photo is gorgeous!

  • http://www.thepurveyor.com Red Wines

    Vodka and tomatoes!? That sounds crazy….I’m going to have to try this out ;)

  • http://www.lifesambrosia.com Deseree

    Thank you everyone for your comments! Caryn- There really isn’t a magical substitute. If you leave it out it won’t be penne alla vodka any more but you will still have a delicious creamy, smoky tomato sauce. Or since you only need 1/4 cup you could also buy one of those mini bottles so you wouldn’t have a whole bottle. Hope this helps!

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  • http://www.bakeaholic.ca alicia

    I made this for valentine’s day dinner! It was delicious! I used pancetta instead of bacon and added chicken. So so so so good!

  • http://www.lifesambrosia.com Deseree

    Thank you Alicia! I’m glad you liked it and I love the addition of the chicken!

  • Patty

    This is on constant rotation at my house. Such a versatile sauce, I have made it with italian sausage, chicken, pancetta, meatballs and various veggies such as green and red peppers. Thank you!

  • Bel

    Hi, this sounds wonderful just wanted to clarify how much vodka you mean by a 1/4 of a cup?
    Thanks
    B

  • http://www.lifesambrosia.com Deseree

    B- 1/4 cup of vodka = 2 ounces. Hope you enjoy the pasta!

  • stef

    In response to Caryn, you can usually find shot size vodka bottles in the liquor store (in Canada anyway), so you can just buy a couple of those instead of a giant bottle!

    -stef

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A little bit about me...

My name is Des. Iā€™m a Mom to Kellan and Preston. Wife to Ryan. Dog mom to Pumpkin and lover of all things food. Whether it is cooking it, eating it, shopping for it or watching TV about it, food is one of my favorite things. Read more »

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