Penne vodka…There are conflicting stories as to where the sauce originates. Some believe that it comes from an Italian restaurant in New York City called Orsini. Others believe it came from Bologna. But whatever the case is, this dish is an easy and delicious dish that can be made any night of the week.
½ Cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
½ Cup Chopped Shallots
4 Oz. Panchetta
¼ Tsp. Red Pepper Flakes
20 basil leaves – chopped
3 – 16 oz Cans of Whole Tomatoes
1 Cup of Vodka
1 ½ Tsp. Salt
1 Tsp. Pepper
2 Cups Heavy Cream
¾ Cups Grated Pecorino Romano
2 lbs. Penne
In a saucepan, heat up the olive oil on a low flame and add the chopped shallots. Cook the shallots for about 10 minutes until they become translucent. Add the pancetta and cook for another 10 minutes until the pancetta starts to get cooked through and crispy. Add the red pepper flakes(optional).
Purée two tomato cans with a hand mixer. Put one more tomato can in the bowl and mash it with your hands. Once the pancetta and shallots are cooked, add the tomatoes and vodka to it. Add in your salt, pepper chopped basil and cook for about 15 minutes.
In the meantime, boil your pasta. Add the heavy cream and the grated cheese to the sauce. Cook it for another 10 minutes. Cook your pasta and drain. Combine the pasta with your sauce. Top with more Pecorino and serve.
Recipe note…. this sauce freezes very well. So if you have extra, save some for a later time.