Penne with Vodka Sauce

Why down shots when you can turn vodka into a delicious sauce?  And no chaser is needed… but maybe the effect isn’t the same…

Penne with Vodka Sauce
Serves 4

2 strips of bacon
1 Tbsp unsalted butter
2 cloves of garlic, smashed
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
1 cup vodka
1 28 oz can crushed tomatoes
1/2 onion, cut into large wedges
2/3 cup cream
1/3 cup parmesan cheese, plus more for serving
salt and pepper, to taste
1 lb penne pasta, cooked and drained (leave some pasta water if necessary)

Dice bacon and render over medium heat in a large saucepan.  Once bacon is crisp and browned, transfer it to a paper towel lined plate.  Melt the butter in the saucepan and cook garlic and red pepper flakes until fragrant, about 30 seconds.  Add vodka and let the alcohol cook off a bit, then stir in the crushed tomatoes.  Let the sauce simmer for about 30 minutes while stirring occasionally.  Once the tomato sauce has reduced, stir in cream and cheese and season with salt and pepper.  If sauce is too thick, loosen with pasta water.  Serve sauce over pasta and top with more cheese if desired.

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