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Classic Penne Alla Vodka

Written by Scrambled & Scrumptious
  • 20 mins
  • 4

Calling all pasta lovers! Prepare yourself to eat the most perfectly cooked, soul-soothing and bacon-filled delicious bowl of pasta that exists on this earth. We warned you...

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  • 450 g dry penne pasta
  • one tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • six pieces bacon, sliced
  • half large white onion, sliced (about 2 cups)
  • one cup vodka
  • four roma tomatoes, sliced into wedges (about 2 cups)
  • half tsp red pepper flakes
  • 237 mL container of heavy cream
  • grated parmesan and sliced basil, for serving


  1. Heat a large non-stick skillet on medium-high heat. Add olive oil and sliced bacon. Cook until bacon is starting to crisp a little, approximately 4 minutes. At this point, start boiling the salted water for the pasta in a separate pot.
  2. Add the onions to the skillet and cook until soft, approximately 3 minutes. Turn heat to medium-low and add the vodka, cook until the vodka starts to evaporate, approximately 3 minutes. Add penne to the boiling salted water in the pot.
  3. Add the tomatoes to the skillet and return heat to medium. Cook the tomatoes until they start to disintegrate into the ingredients in the pan, approximately 5 minutes.
  4. Add the red pepper flakes and cream to the skillet and stir to combine. Check the sauce to see if it needs salt or pepper to be added. Cook until the cream starts to thicken, approximately 4 minutes. At this point, the penne should be cooked to just before al dente. Save approximately 1 cup of pasta water (you likely won’t use it all). Drain the pasta and add to the skillet.
  5. Cook the pasta in the sauce in the skillet until the pasta is ready, approximately 2 minutes if cooking to al dente, more if you want soft pasta. Add a small amount of reserved pasta water if needed to help the sauce stick to the pasta. I typically add 1/3 cup at first and then will add more if needed.
  6. Scoop into a bowl, top with grated parmesan cheese and chopped basil and serve.

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