Penne with pancetta and vodka-cream sauce
The pancetta is first cooked until crisp, then set aside while onions, garlic, and a tablespoon of tomato paste are sautéed for a few minutes, until the onions are light golden. Then, red pepper flakes, hand-crushed San Marzano tomatoes (28 oz/794 gram can), and 1/3 cup of vodka are added. This all simmers until the liquid is burned off, then finished with 1/2 cup of heavy cream, a handful of basil leaves, and the reserved pancetta and kept warm as the pasta is prepared.
Onions/garlic/tomato paste, hand-crushed tomatoes added
Next, basil, cream, pancetta
The penne cooks to al dente, joins the sauce, and everything simmers together for a few minutes, mixing and the tastes of the sauce and pasta.
Sauce staying warm, pasta cooking
A sliced French baguette and grated Gran Padana cheese accompany the dish, along with a small heirloom tomato and avocado salad to complete our meal.
Bread, parmesan cheese, salad