Delicious pasta alla vodka in a tomato-cream sauce where vodka cooks off and intensifies the flavor. This deserves a spot in your repertoire.
- 12 ounces short pasta (penne, fusilli)
- ½ pound bacon (diced)
- 6 cloves garlic (minced)
- 3 small shallots (minced)
- ¼ cup vodka
- 1 ½ cups tomato purée
- 1 cup heavy cream
- Red pepper flakes (a pinch)
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt (or more)
- Ground pepper (to taste)
- 1 cup peas (fresh or frozen)
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil or butter
- ½ cup parmesan cheese (grated; plus more for serving)
- Basil leaves (optional)
- Cook pasta according to package instructions. Save about a cup of pasta water for the sauce.
- In a large sauté pan over medium heat, cook bacon until crisp. Set aside. Discard the rendered fat.
- On the same pan, add a little oil. Cook garlic and shallots until softened, about 2 minutes.
- Add a pinch of red pepper flakes.
- Pour in vodka, tomato purée, heavy cream, salt, and pepper. Stir and let it simmer. By this time, turn the heat down.
- When it starts to simmer, add peas and let it cook for a couple of minutes.
- Taste and see if it needs more salt.
- Add bacon and pasta. Toss to coat.
- You may need to add some pasta water to thin it out, if the sauce seems to be too thick. Start with a little and add more pasta water as needed.
- Add olive oil/butter and stir in the cheese and serve with some fresh basil leaves.