Vodka Pasta

timemed skillmed budgethi

Adding vodka when cooking pasta sauce may have sounded like a gimmick, and it may have been the case, but in the end, it is very delicious indeed, and for the homecook it’s actually quite a simple dish to execute.

Essential components:
• Bacon, cut into small pieces
• Pasta – traditionally penne (thus the name, penne ala vodka), I’m using shells
• Canned diced tomato
• Vodka
• Cream
• Parmesan, grated

Other stuff:
• Fresh basil cut into thin strips
• Salt and pepper

Method:
• Cook the pasta in salted water
• In a hot pan, add oil and bacon and fry until brown around the edge
• Add a generous amount of vodka, if you don’t want the pan to flambe, turn the heat to low beforehand, if it does flambé, do not panic, nothing is wrong with that as long as nothing else catches on fire
• Cook until the vodka reduces to about half, then add the diced tomato and cook until it reduces again (canned tomato can be a bit bland so you want to help the tomato a bit by cooking it)
• Lower the heat, then add the cream, cheese, basil and pasta, and mix (I judged how much cream I need by looking at the color, the final mix should be vibrant orange)
• Season with more salt and pepper if necessary, top with more basil and serve

Tips and thoughts:
• Depending on the quality of the canned tomato, you may want to add a little bit of sugar to enhance the tomato flavor
• Cooking the vodka is important because if you don’t, you’ll end up with a bitter almost unpalatable sauce

vodka pasta

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