Rule #308: You can never go wrong with vodka and pasta. Especially if they’re put together.
I can’t quit this pasta. I dream about it. I finally couldn’t take it anymore and made it this past Saturday to calm my cravings. It’s got pancetta (or bacon), vodka, tomatoes, and pasta. I mean, seriously. What could possibly go wrong? It’s perfect. Pasta Perfect.
To make it a little lighter, we used Banza chickpea pasta. It has fewer calories and carbs, plus more fiber. It’s just as delicious as regular pasta! Try it out!
If you are looking for your next favorite cookbook, you have to get this one: The Godfather: The Corleone Family Cookbook. I adapted this recipe from their Pasta alla Vodka. All of the recipes in the book are wonderful! They even have cute blurbs before each recipe that relate to the Godfather Trilogy. We are actually having the Wedding Soup from this cookbook for dinner tonight (minus the pasta – going low carb).
Okidoki then, let’s make us some Vodka Pasta then, shall we? First, sauté some pancetta until it’s about halfway browned, and then add in some diced onion. Continue to cook until onion is softened.
Meanwhile, cook your pasta until al dente in heavily salted water (think: the salinity of the sea). Drain and rinse the pasta in cold water to stop the cooking process.
Now, once your pancetta and onion are browned and softened, add in some minced garlic. Stir and cook until fragrant (about 30 seconds). Then, pour in the delicious vodka and allow to simmer, scraping the browned bits from the bottom.
Add in a can of crushed tomatoes and some salt and pepper. My favorite tomatoes are San Marzano; I just crush them gently with my hand into the pot. Just be careful – they’re awfully messy little fellas (hint: don’t wear white when making this dish).
Stir in the tomatoes, cover, and cook for about 10 minutes. Then, remove the cover and cook an additional 5 minutes, until sauce has thickened.
Lower the heat and pour in some heavy cream. Ohhhhh yes, the gorgeous, sinful, delectable heavy cream. Simmer another 5 minutes.
Then, throw in your cooked pasta and stir to combine. Add in some grated Parmesan, and stir until melted. Garnish with julienned basil.
There’s something about a hearty bowl of pasta that makes me want to get my comfy blanket and turn on The Godfather. Hearing Don Corleone talk is a bit of comfort food for my ears. Add that to this bowl of delicious, creamy comfort food for my belly, and I’m a pretty happy camper!
Pair this with a simple salad of leafy greens, olive oil, balsamic vinegar, salt, and pepper, and you’ve got a meal fit for a king… or in this case, a Don.
And as with most Italian dishes, this one is best served family style with your favorite people.
8 oz. pancetta or bacon, chopped
½ yellow onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
½ cup vodka
1 28-oz. can crushed tomatoes
¾ tsp. Kosher salt, plus more for boiling pasta
¼ tsp. freshly ground black pepper
1 cup heavy cream
1 lb. pasta (penne, elbow, or other tube-like pasta)
Basil leaves, julienned
In a large skillet or Dutch oven, brown the pancetta or bacon over medium-high heat. Add in the onion and sauté until softened (about 8 minutes). Add in the garlic and cook until fragrant (about 1 minute). Pour in the vodka and stir to scrape the browned bits off the bottom of the pan.
Turn the heat to medium-low and add in the crushed tomatoes, salt, and pepper. Cover and simmer for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove the lid and simmer another 5 minutes.
Meanwhile, cook the pasta in a pot of heavily salted water until al dente (about 8 minutes). Drain and rinse with cold water.
Slowly pour the cream into the tomato sauce, stirring to combine. Simmer another 5 minutes. Add the cooked pasta to the tomato sauce, stir, and cook another minute. Gently stir in a handful of Parmesan cheese. Garnish with basil.