Penne ala Vodka Pancetta
This is my to die for recipe which was first posted almost three years ago HERE. It has become a hugely popular recipe and has been pinned over 1200 times onPinterst. Considering I posted it almost exactly 3 years ago when I was excited breaking 5 readers a day? Well.. this is definitely a recipe... TO DIE FOR!
  • 1 cup vodka _(don’t buy the cheap stuff, there is a reason you cook with alcohol it makes the flavors pop! I use my homemade Pepper Vodka for an even bigger pop)
  • 1 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
  • 2 TBSP olive oil
  • 1 pound prosciutto, chopped (you can get it from the deli like I did above if you plan on eating it a lot (it is great fried like our American version), but you can also buy it already chopped in the deli section of most markets)
  • 2 large clove garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup of finely chopped yellow onion (yellow onion tend to hold their flavor even when cooked down into a sauce, remember we want it to POP!)
  • 2 TBSP chopped Italian parsley
  • 2 TBSP chopped fresh basil
  • 2 TBSP of finely chopped sun-dried tomato (this is something I discovered when I was in my sun-dried tomato phase. I love the texture and the way a hint of sweetness is added.)
  • salt and/or pepper to taste (I add this because depending on the ingredients at times I need to add more, less or none.)
  • 4 cups of whole Roma tomatoes, blended (Use canned, it makes life easier. Drain the juice and use San Marzano tomatoes if you can find them! If you like chunky sauce, use the chopped version or crush them with your hands)
  • 1 to 1½ cup heavy cream (If using whipping cream I would only use 1 cup but with regular heavy cream I usually use 1½ cups. YES I think there is a difference!)
  • 1/2 cup of fresh grated Parmesan cheese (don’t be lazy and buy Kraft© Parmesan, that isn’t real!! Grate it you lazy sod!)
  • 4 TBSP of unsalted butter (this is optional and only used if the sauce ends up being to acidic. This can happen if you use cheap tomatoes or ones that have been sitting on the shelf to long. Add one tablespoon at time till it loses the unwanted edge to the flavor.)
  1. Pour vodka in a glass bowl (or glass if you have no glass bowl but it needs to be glass people), add the red pepper flakes and set aside for at least an hour while you prepare everything else.
  2. Grate the Parmesan with a hard cheese grater and set aside (you can grate more to use for garnish the dish later)
  3. Chop or dice Pancetta (this really is your preference. I personally like to have it the same consistency as I chop my corn beef for hash as you can see from the picture)
  4. add olive oil to a mid sized sauce pan over medium heat. When heated add Pancetta and stir. Saute the bacon down then and add the onions and garlic stirring till the onions JUST begin to caramelize (see the photo)
  5. Add 1 tablespoon of parsley and the sun-dried tomato. Continue sauteing till most of the grease is cooked off (no more than 5 more minutes you do not want the onions completely soggy and browned).
  6. Turn the heat down to medium-low, adding the vodka mixture. Simmer for 10 minutes
  7. Add your tomatoes, the rest of your parsley, basil and ½ cup of Parmesan cheese. Stir after each ingredient. Continue to stir for the first five minutes and every five minutes after that for 15 more minutes. (you can opt to cook this longer if the sauce is not cooking down, but do not over cook or the flavor will begin to become acidic, this is when you start adding butter. So taste after 15 minutes and then no more then 10 more minutes in my most humble and awesome opinion)
  8. While you are cooking and stirring the sauce gently whip the creme (you want it to start thicken but not whipped in the thickness of the whipped creme you put on that pumpkin pie last month. AND YES you can GENTLY whip things.. be playful, gentle and make sure you give it good aftercare when you are done weg)
  9. Serve over chicken, with penne (traditional), or you can substitute and use linguine or fettichini
Recipe by Cabin Goddess at