Month: July 2017

My makes-me-so-homesick-vodka sauce

If, like me, you grew up in New York – specifically Long Island – then chances are you’re familiar with Penne ala Vodka. It’s a staple in almost every Italian restaurant. And for good reason: it’s hands down the best sauce in the world. Ever, ever, EVER {foreva eva, eva eva in an Outkast voice, sorry had to}
Anyway imagine my dismay when I get moved to Australia as a 16 year old only to discover that it basically doesn’t exist here. No one had heard of it and only one restaurant had it on their menu as “vodka sauce” and it was nowhere near what I was used to. So a combination of boredom and homesickness was all it took to start perfecting this recipe. It’s an adaptation of Rachel Ray’s “You won’t be single for long” vodka cream sauce but her recipe has no meat in it. So I had to rectify that one. No disrespect for my girl but everything is better with a bit of bacon!

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Ingredients

1 tablespoon olive oil
2 tablespoons of butter
2 heaped tsp minced garlic or 2 cloves
1-2 cups vodka (nothing fancy needed!)
2 shallots {or 1 large onion in a pinch}
5 slices of pancetta, chopped in chunks {or prosciutto, bacon etc}
1 can diced tomatoes
1 bottle of passata {our family makes their own but whatever you can get}
1/2 cup heavy cream
Salt and pepper
Fresh basil
Pasta of your choice – I use bowties or penne

Heat butter and oil in a pan. Fry up pancetta and shallots until crispy. Add the fresh garlic and fry until golden. Add 1 cup of vodka and let it reduce for a few minutes.  Next, add the passata and diced tomatoes and let it cook for about 15-20 minutes. Meanwhile, bring some water to the boil and add salt.

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Once the pasta has cooked til al-dente {around 8 minutes}, turn the heat off the sauce and add the cream. Stir through, season with salt and pepper. I usually toss in another douse of vodka to finish it off and whack on some fresh basil.

Pour the sauce over the pasta and enjoy. I’m talking put on stretchy pants, pour some wine and really dig in.

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