Penne Alla Vodka

This smooth and creamy Penne Alla Vodka is the perfect cozy meal and is done in 40 minutes max! Enriched with the salty-porkiness of bacon and finished with fresh bursts of basil and parsley, this pasta has it all!











  • 6 slices of bacon thick-cut bacon
  • 2 whole shallots (peeled & minced)
  • 2 cloves of garlic (peeled & chopped)
  • ¼ cup of vodka
  • 1 cup of heavy cream
  • 1 pinch of freshly grated or ground nutmeg
  • ¼ cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
  • 1 pinch of red pepper flakes
  • 2 cups of homemade tomato sauce or your favorite store-bought jarred tomato sauce
  • Penne pasta
  • Fresh basil (picked & chiffonade)
  • Fresh italian parsley (picked & chopped)


Making the Sauce:

  1. Begin by taking your 6 slices of bacon and laying them across your cutting board so that they lay perpendicular to you. Cut each strip into thin slices, working from right-to-left, until all the strips of bacon are now cut into thin strips about the thickness of a quarter.
  2. Put a heavy-bottomed pot on the stove and turn the heat on high. After about 20 seconds, add a splash of oil to the pan, followed by the cut bacon. Turn the heat down to medium and continue to cook the bacon, stirring occasionally, until the bacon bits are about 80% cooked and have just a little uncooked-rubbery fat left (about 3-5 minutes).
  3. Once the bacon is almost fully cooked, about 80%, add the shallots and continue to cook, on a low heat, for about 1-2 minutes or until the shallots start to become translucent.
  4. Add the chopped garlic and gently toast for another 1-2 minutes or until the garlic is no longer raw.
  5. Add the red pepper flakes and the freshly ground nutmeg and toast slightly for another 30 seconds to bring out the aromas of both ingredients.
  6. Deglaze the pan by adding the vodka, while stirring (turn off the heat before doing this to prevent the vodka from flaming up), to remove all the cooked bits stuck to the bottom of the pot. Continue to cook off the raw alcohol for 1 minute.
  7. After 1 minute, add the tomato sauce, along with the heavy cream and cook on a low heat, uncovered, for about 10-15 minutes or until the sauce is thick enough to coat pasta.
  8. Turn off the heat and add the Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, along with the fresh basil and parsley. Stir to incorporate the ingredients and season the sauce to taste with salt and pepper.

Cooking the Pasta:

  1. Bring a pot of water to a boil and add a few pinches of salt to the water.
  2. Cook your pasta in accordance with the instructions on the package and strain off the pasta when it has reached an al dente texture.

Finishing the Pasta

  1. Once the pasta is cooked and strained, add it back to the pot you cooked it in, along with the vodka sauce.
  2. Cook the pasta on a low heat for 1-2 minutes, just long enough for some of the pasta to absorb the sauce.
  3. Transfer the pasta, coated with the sauce, to your desired plates to serve and top with additional freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese and enjoy.

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