Last updated on June 30th, 2018 at 10:28 am
This Pasta alla Vodka is perfect for a quick weeknight dinner with an easy and creamy tomato and vodka sauce, topped with bacon and Parmesan cheese!
Do you all love this time of year? Kids are back to school, fall is just around the corner, and the trees are already changing color. I’m ready for pumpkin recipes and pumpkin spiced lattes. But that’s not what I have for you today. Today I have an easy 30 minute pasta alla vodka dish and you might want to ask me if this pasta is appropriate for children. I’d say it definitely is safe for kids, because the vodka cooks off so most of the alcohol will evaporate, whatever alcohol is left is a very small amount.
Also, you will not taste the alcohol in this dish so you might ask yourself why vodka sauce, what’s the point? As we know, vodka is nearly colorless, nearly odourless, and nearly flavorless. The vodka is used to release the acids and flavor of the sauce and enhance the sweetness of the cream. Although vodka doesn’t have much flavor on its own, it is used as a flavor enhancer when mixed with other ingredients such as tomatoes.
Now that we understand the science behind using vodka in sauces, let’s forget about that and just focus on this dish. It is in fact a very simple dish but loaded with flavor and because we know that bacon makes everything better, I couldn’t help myself so I added some. The bacon also adds a bit of crunchiness and texture to this dish. All in all a very simple dish, quickly put together and quite delicious.
I know some of you may ask what to use instead of vodka. Considering this is pasta alla vodka, I would say that vodka is the number one ingredient here, so I’d say if you don’t want to use vodka, move on and choose another recipe from my many other pasta dishes here on the blog. I think this sauce is one that needs to be tried and I’m sure you’ll love it.
Check out some of my other pasta dishes here:
- Pesto Shrimp Asparagus Pasta
- Italian Shrimp Bake with Pasta
- Cajun Shrimp with Tomato Alfredo Pasta
- Arugula and Walnut Pesto
- Easy Chicken Alfredo Pasta Bake
If you try this recipe, please let us know! Leave a comment, rate it and tag a photo #jocooks on Instagram so we can see it. I always love to see what you guys come up with!
Pasta alla Vodka
- 12 oz pasta I used mini shells
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 large onion chopped
- 3 cloves garlic minced
- 1/2 cup vodka
- 1/8 tsp nutmeg ground
- 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
- salt and pepper to taste
- 14 oz tomato puree (1 can)
- 1 cup half and half or heavy cream
- 6 slices bacon chopped and fried
- 1 cup Parmesan cheese freshly grated
- 1 tbsp fresh parsley for garnish
- Cook the pasta according to package instructions. Drain in a colander and rinse it under cold water to stop it from cooking any further. Reserve some of the pasta water, just in case we need it to thin out the sauce.
- Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onion and cook for 3 to 5 minutes until it softens and becomes translucent.
- Add the garlic and cook for another 30 seconds until it becomes aromatic.
- Add the vodka, stir and cook for a couple minutes until the almost all of the vodka has cooked down. Stir in the nutmeg, red pepper flakes, salt and pepper.
- Add the tomato puree to the skillet, then stir in the half and half or heavy cream. Bring to a boil.
- Stir in the cooked pasta, bacon and the Parmesan cheese. If the sauce is too thick and the pasta has soaked up all the sauce, add some of the reserved pasta water.
- Garnish with parsley and serve.
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