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Pasta Alla Vodka

Caroline Chambers
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.
 
Course Main Course
Cuisine American, Italian

Ingredients
  

Breadcrumbs

  • 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

Vodka Sauce

  • 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

Instructions
 

Breadcrumbs:

  • 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.

Tagliatelle

  • 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.

Video

Keyword Bacon, Breadcumbs, Italian, Pasta