Penne alla Vodka Sauce

Based on Foodnetwork’s “Penne alla Vodka”

  • 1/4 pound bacon, diced (can also use pancetta or prosciutto)
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 6 cloves garlic, peeled and halved
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 1/2 cup vodka
  • one 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes
  • 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • Salt, to taste
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 12 fresh basil leaves, chopped
  • 1-1/2 cups freshly grated Romano cheese


  1. In a large saute pan on medium heat, cook and render fat from the bacon. (If you are using pancetta or prosciutto, skip this step and just saute it with the garlic.) Once the bacon is almost crisp, remove it from the pan and set it aside. Do not clean the pan.
  2. Add the olive oil and, when it is hot, return the bacon to the pan along with the onion. Saute until the onion is translucent, about 5 minutes. Then add garlic. until golden brown.
  3. Add the vodka and let it reduce by half
  4. Then add the tomatoes, red pepper, and salt.
  5. Simmer the sauce uncovered for about 30 minutes, stirring occasionally,
  6. Add the heavy cream and simmer another 10 minutes.
  7. Remove the sauce from the heat, add the basil and the cheese, and stir well.
  8. Stir in the pasta, coat well (add about 1/3 cup of the starchy pasta water if you have it to make it silky)

For 1 1-lb box of pasta, like penne


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