What I learned after visiting Italy was that the best pasta dishes tend to have just a few really simple ingredients, which has been great news for my weeknight dinner plans, given the little time I often have to throw something together. One afternoon I started dreaming (we all dream about pasta, right?) of some cheesy, garlic-y, creamy pasta with pancetta, so I did a little research and found this yummy version from Food & Wine – which I upped the flavor and cheese factor on until I landed on this bomb-ass recipe! 😀 Super easy to throw together, makes great leftovers and would be perfect for a dinner party – I already can’t wait to make this one again. Saluti!
Cook Time: 20 Minutes
1 lb box linguine
1/2 pound pancetta, cut into 1/4-inch dice
1/4 cup vodka
2 cloves of minced garlic
2 cups heavy cream
1/4 cup grated parmesan
1 1/4 cup frozen peas
freshly ground pepper
First get a large pot of salted water boiling to cook the pasta – cook until al dente.
Also get a medium pot of water boiling to cook the peas. Once done, drain and set aside to add to the pasta dish at the end.
To make the sauce, in a large saucepan, cook the pancetta over moderate heat, stirring occasionally until golden brown, about 3 to 5 minutes. Then remove the pancetta to a paper-towel lined plate, leaving the fat in the saucepan. Reserve 4 tablespoons of the fat, and pour the rest out from the saucepan.
Then add the vodka to the saucepan and cook over medium heat, scraping up any browned bits until the vodka is reduced to a glaze, about 2 minutes. Next add the reserved 4 tbs of pancetta fat, the cream, minced garlic and pancetta and bring to a boil. Simmer over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until thickened and slightly reduced, about 10 minutes. Add a pinch of salt and pepper to taste. Then add the cooked pasta, peas and parmesan to the pan, folding everything together gently until the pasta is well coated in sauce. Serve up warm with an extra hit of fresh ground pepper and extra parmesan. Serve with buttery, crusty garlic bread! Mmmmmmmmmm!!!!