Penne alla Vodka

Tasted this for the first time in Toronto, prior to driving to Buffalo , NY, for the 1997 IFAFA Conference. Got the recipe from the restaurant owner! -Jackie Capurro

  • 1 lb. penne pasta
  • 1/2 lb smoked pancetta* in one piece
  • 1 stick of butter
  • 4 oz brandy
  • 8 oz vodka
  • 1/2 pt. heavy cream
  • 1/4 lb parmesan cheese, freshly grated or shredded
  • 1 can of 28 oz peeled tomatoes
  • salt and pepper to taste

Cut up the pancetta in small cubes and sauté in butter till crispy.
Pour the brandy over the pancetta; let simmer a couple of minutes, then flame CAREFULLY.  (Use a LONG fireplace match!)
Add the cream, then the tomatoes crushed with a fork.  Add the vodka, salt & pepper and cook for 20 minutes.
Pour over cooked pasta and add parmesan cheese.  Serve hot.

* Pancetta is Italian bacon, sometimes found at a good deli.  It is almost like unsliced bacon, but smokier. If pancetta is not available, thick-sliced smoked bacon makes an OK substitute.

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