Pasta Alla Vodka
Enjoy this collaboration between Caroline Chambers and Baker's Bacon of a delicious recipe with optional homemade pasta! Caroline Chambers is a professional recipe developer, food writer, and cookbook author. She wrote Just Married, published by Chronicle Books in2018, and writes What To Cook When You Don't Feel Like Cooking, a weekly newsletter that delivers one complete meal that will take under an hour. She lives in Carmel Valley with her husband, two sons, dog, and ten chickens.
- 2 slices Sous Vide Baker’s Bacon diced (or 3 slices regular)
- 1 cup panko breadcrumbs
- ¼ cup finely chopped basil
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 1 pound pasta penne, rotini, rigatoni, or homemade pasta (see below)
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 large shallot finely minced
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 6 ounce can tomato paste (or, a heaping ½ cup)
- ½ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
- ¼ cup vodka
- Kosher salt
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan plus more for serving
- Basil for serving
Homemade tagliatelle (optional)
- 2 cups all purpose flour
- Pinch of salt
- ½ to ¾ cup water
- In a nonstick skillet, cook 2 slices sous vide Baker’s Bacon, diced over medium-high heat until lightly crispy.
- Pour off all but 1 tablespoon of the bacon grease.
- Stir in 1 cup breadcrumbs and cook for an additional 2 to 3 minutes, until light golden brown.
- Remove skillet from heat, allow to cool for a couple minutes, then stir in ¼ cup minced basil leaves and a pinch of pepper.
- Taste and season with salt as needed (we haven’t added any yet, because bacon is salty!)
- Allow to cool.
Pasta & Sauce:
- Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and cook 1 pound of pasta until al dente. **RESERVE 2 CUPS OF THE COOKING LIQUID BEFORE YOU DRAIN THE PASTA!!** Do not rinse the pasta!
- In a large skillet over medium heat, melt 2 tablespoons butter. Cook 1 minced shallot and 2 minced garlic cloves until softened, 1 to 2 minutes.
- Stir in 6 ounces tomato paste and ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes and continue cooking until the paste is turning a nice deep red color.
- Stir in ¼ cup vodka and cook for 2 minutes, until combined. Stir in 1 cup heavy cream and ¼ cup pasta cooking liquid. Stir in ½ cup parmesan until melted and smooth. Stir in the pasta and a small amount of pasta cooking liquid at a time if needed for the sauce to be very thick and cling to each noodle perfectly. Taste and season with salt as needed.
- Serve and garnish with fresh basil and more Parmesan.
- Combine flour and salt in a large bowl. Add ½ cup water and use a spoon to stir to combine. Add more water if needed to create a shaggy dough ball. Use your hand to start kneading the dough. Sticky? Add a bit of flour. Too dry? Add a bit of water.
- Knead the dough until the dough ball is shiny, and not at all sticky.
- Set aside, covered, for 15 to 30 minutes.
- Flour a surface (you can use the bottom of a baking sheet if you don’t have a good surface) and roll out the dough ball until very thin.
- Flour the top of the dough, then fold it up on itself over and over. Slice the roll ¼ inch thick to create long strands of pasta. Pick up the pasta and shake off the excess flour.
- Cook in boiling water for 2 to 3 minutes.