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• 1 pound penne pasta
• 4 ounces diced pancetta
• 1 small onion
• 2 garlic cloves
• Red pepper flakes
• 2 cups canned crushed tomatoes
• 1/2 cup vodka
• 1 cup heavy cream
• Grated parmesan cheese (garnish)
• Fresh parsley or basil (garnish)
1. Get a large pot of water going for the penne and then start the flavor base for this recipe by crisping up 4-ounces of diced pancetta in a large pot. Pancetta is really nothing more than unsmoked, Italian-style bacon, which can be left out of a vegetarian version.
2. Once the pancetta is close to being crisp, add the finely diced onion and cook that to soften.
3. At that point, add the minced cloves of garlic and a good pinch of red pepper flakes and cook for a minute.
4. Then add the canned crushed tomatoes, vodka and heavy cream, stir that together and bring it up to a simmer.
5. Once the pasta water comes to a boil, add the pasta and stir it around. Adjust the heat on the sauce so it is just simmering along as the pasta is cooking.
6. Drain the pasta really well when it is done, add it to the sauce while it is still nice and hot, toss to coat and then serve.
7. Garnish it with grated parmesan cheese and chopped fresh parsley or basil, if you like.
: Chef Dan Eaton spent his early years on a dairy farm in Vermont where he developed a fondness for foods "straight from the land." Cooking seasonally was more of a necessity then but Dan still finds local ingredients, in season, a driving force behind his menu creations.