what's cooking in my tuscan kitchen
just what the title says! I'll be keeping you posted on what is cooking on my stove in Lucca, Italy!
Tomato, hot pepper, vodka.. Bloody Mary?... No, Pasta alla Vodka!
1 small can plum tomatoes, pureed
1 T butter
about 1 oz of pancetta
about 2 oz grated Parmesan
1/2 cup vodka
1/3 cup cream
salt and pepper to taste
1lb penne (I used ziti)
Put a large pot of water for the pasta on to boil.
Coarsely chop the onion
cut the pancetta (you can substitute with bacon or canadian bacon, I used speck)
break the hot peppers in half.
Melt the butter in a large fry pan. Add the onion, pancetta and hot pepper and sauté for 3 or 4 minutes over medium/high heat. When the onion is translucent add the vodka and allow the alcohol to evaporate
Add about 1 cup of the pureed tomatoes to the fry pan, salt and pepper to taste and allow it to cook over med/high heat, reducing it to a thick sauce (this will take about 5-8 min).
By now your water will be boiling, so salt the water and put the pasta in to cook (zitti or penne usually take about 10 min to cook)
While the pasta is cooking, add the cream (I used a low fat yogurt based cream, you can use light cream, fat-free half 'n half, etc) and the grated Parmesan cheese, stir in the cream and the cheese so that you have a well mixed creamy sauce.
Taste, and adjust seasoning if necessary. You should really taste the hot pepper!!
By now the pasta should be cooked "al dente". Drain it well and add it to the sauce in the fry pan.
Toss the pasta so that it is evenly coated with the delicious, spicy vodka sauce and...
as Julia Child would have said, had she spoken Italian
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