Penne alla vodka
================ 2022-05-25

Inspired by: How to Make PENNE ALLA VODKA Like an Italian

Comment: Pancetta is pork belly salted and dried with herbs and spices. Typically, the pancetta used in cooking is dried with, among other things, bay leaf and garlic. Alternatively, you can use smoked or salted bacon and add a bay leaf and a grated clove of garlic or garlic powder to the sauce. An interesting note and to add a little spice to the sauce, in my case 8 small bird's eye peppers dried and reduced to powder (2 per person).

4 people


400 g penne rigate
800 g (28 oz) peeled tomatoes (for crushing) or canned tomato pulp
1 chopped onion
1+ dl full cream (35%)
250 g pancetta, in thin lardons
1 garlic clove or a little garlic powder (opt see text)
1 bay leaf (opt see text)
80 g grated Pecorino Romano (or alternatively Parmigiano Reggiano)
3 dl vodka


Sweat the onion in a little EVOO and a pinch of salt (10 to 15 mins).
Add the pancetta and cook for a few more minutes.
Add the garlic (if necessary), the vodka and let the alcohol evaporate for a few minutes.

Heat the pasta water.

Add tomatoes (crushed), bay leaf (if needed) and S+P (salt probably not needed).
Cook over low heat for 20 to 25 minutes, stirring occasionally to reduce a little, until the tomatoes no longer have too much juice.
Add the cream, continue to simmer for a few minutes while stirring.

Cook the pasta.

Drain the pasta (keep a little of the pasta water ~2 dl), put them in the sauce, add a little of the pasta cooking water to obtain a creamy sauce, stir well.
Add the Pecorino, stir again and serve.