Penne alla Vodka
Just when you think tomato sauce can’t get any better, in walks in vodka sauce. Add some salty pancetta and cream and you’ve got yourself a rich, flavorful sauce. I like it as is, but don’t be afraid to make it a more hearty meal by bulking it up with some grilled chicken and ciliegine mozzarella or pan-seared shrimp.
You can grab my Everyday Tomato Sauce recipe HERE!
Penne alla Vodka
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 4 ounces pancetta, small dice
- 1 large garlic clove, grated on a microplane
- ½ cup vodka
- ¾ cup heavy cream
- 2 cups Everyday Tomato Sauce
- Generous pinch black pepper
- 1 pound penne rigate
- Kosher salt
- ¼ cup grated pecorino, plus more for serving
- In a large, high-sided skillet, over medium-high heat, warm the olive oil.
- Add the pancetta and cook until crispy, about 4 minutes.
- Add the garlic and cook, stirring constantly, until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
- Carefully add the vodka and cook until reduced by half, for a minute or two.
- Add the cream and Everyday Tomato Sauce and whisk to combine.
- Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to low and simmer for 2 minutes before removing from the heat.
- Meanwhile, bring a large pot of generously salted water to a boil.
- Add the penne and cook 2 minutes short of al dente; reserve ¼ cup of the pasta water before straining.
- Return the pasta to the pot it was cooked in.
- Add the vodka sauce, reserved pasta water and pecorino cheese.
- Cook, over medium-high heat, stirring often, until the sauce begins to thicken, for about 2 minutes.
- Serve immediately and top with grated pecorino and freshly ground black pepper.
For added protein, and to bulk up the dish, add ¾ pound cubed grilled chicken and 8 ounces halved ciliegine mozzarella balls.