like love a little booze in their dinner? No, not with, but in, your dinner. Oh yeah, I have my hand raised. I think that alcohol always gives the dish more flavor and no, it won’t get you drunk, unless you drink that bottle of wine while you’re cooking ;) but it brings out the flavors.
There was a lot of first’s in this particular dish. First, I never cooked with pancetta before. GASP. I know. I love bacon but pancetta is bacon on crack, at least in my opinion. I like it more than regular bacon. Maybe because it sounds fancier or maybe because the Italians use it, who knows. I just like the flavor more. Second, I’ve never made vodka sauce before. Are you shaking your head at me? Please stop, if you are :) I was recently reading Bev‘s blog & she had made vodka sauce and then my coworker had brought up vodka sauce and I said “man, I’ve had enough of this vodka sauce talk, I must make it.” And so here we are.
Pancetta and vodka sauce. What a fab combination of flavors. The pancetta drippings with the creamy vodka tomato sauce brings out such well-rounded flavors in your mouth. It’s seriously addicting. If you’re shoveling this pasta in your mouth, I won’t judge you.
Pasta with Pancetta and Vodka Sauce
Serving size: 4
16 oz. penne pasta
2 tbsp. unsalted butter
4 oz. pancetta, diced (if you can find it thick cut at your butcher/deli, go for that. My grocery store only had the pre-packaged kind that was thinly cut)
1/3 cup of (good) vodka (good meaning something you would drink)
1/2 cup of heavy cream
1 1/2 cup of homemade marinara sauce or jarred
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese for serving
- Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil for your pasta.
- Using a nonstick skillet and brown your pancetta on medium heat.
- Once your pancetta is browned, add in the vodka and let it cook with the pancetta until it’s reduced by half. Takes about 2-3 minutes.
- Add in the marinara sauce and whisk in the heavy cream.
- Let the mixture simmer for 10 minutes.
- While the sauce is simmering, add in your pasta to the boiling salted water.
- When pasta is done, drain it, and add it to the vodka sauce. Toss to coat well.
- Serve with freshly grated Parmesan cheese.
Adapted from Just a Taste