Tipsy Pasta

Pasta is a dear friend of mine..any kind of pasta. In any shape or form. With any kind of sauce. I had heavy cream in the fridge and vodka in the cupboard. Put them together with some tomatoes and you get a good looking sauce.

Sizzle, sizzle..pop. Mmmmmm. The heavenly smell of pancetta and garlic. It’s a beautiful thing. And it is also the foundation for this tasty vodka sauce. Feast your eyes on this! How can you not fall in love at first sight 🙂

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Did I mention I have a little indoor garden of sorts. Some basil, parsley, mint, Thai red pepper. It’s there when I need it so I don’t have to go to the grocery store. They come in handy when I’m cooking and I’m always happy when I snip a few sprigs of what I need. Now that I come to think of it, I could have added some Thai pepper but I know there will be a next time so I followed the recipe and used crushed red pepper. I went through several recipes and ended up using the one from Food and Wine because what caught my attention was the pancetta 🙂 This was a really good creamy sauce, not too rich. I used fusilli pasta but you can make this with any kind. Two days after I made it, I roasted some zucchini and squash in the oven and added that to the leftover pasta. It was even better!

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I had day old baguette and I just had to make some garlic bread. I love Ina Garten’s recipes so I turned to her for this one. Some Malbec wine to go with the delicious dinner and we have ourselves a winner.

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Vodka sauce recipe taken from Food & Wine

INGREDIENTS:

1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 ounces pancetta, diced
3 garlic cloves, peeled
1/4 tsp crushed pepper
1/4 cup vodka
1 tablespoon tomato paste
One 35-ounce can whole peeled Italian tomatoes with their juices, crushed by hand
6 large garlic cloves, chopped
Pinch of sugar
2 basil sprigs
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup heavy cream

DIRECTIONS:

  1. In a large saucepan, heat the oil. Sauté the pancetta, garlic and crushed red pepper over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until golden, about 5 minutes. Deglaze with vodka. Add the tomato paste and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Add the canned tomatoes with their juices. Stir in the sugar and basil, season with salt and pepper and bring to a boil. Simmer the sauce over low heat, stirring occasionally, until it thickens and is reduced to 3 cups, about 30 minutes. Season again with salt and pepper. Discard the basil sprigs and garlic. Add heavy cream and simmer for 5 minutes
MAKE AHEAD

The sauce can be refrigerated for up to 3 days.

Garlic bread recipe taken from Food Network, Ina Garten
INGREDIENTS
6 large garlic cloves, chopped
1/4 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley
1/4 cup chopped fresh oregano leaves
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup good olive oil
1 loaf ciabatta bread
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
DIRECTIONS:
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Place the garlic in the bowl of a food processor and process until minced. Add the parsley, oregano, salt and pepper and pulse twice.

Heat the olive oil in a medium saute pan and add the garlic mixture. Remove the pan from the heat.

Slice the ciabatta bread in half horizontally, and spread the butter on 1 half. Spread the garlic mixture on the other half of the bread, and put the halves together. Wrap the bread in aluminum foil.

Place the bread in the oven and bake for 5 minutes. Open the foil, and continue baking for an additional 5 minutes.

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