Andrew Zimmern’s Kitchen Adventures
This is a Zimmern family favorite, a great recipe for a midweek dinner. The amped-up tomato sauce gets a kick from the vodka and a rich, smoky flavor from the bacon. The kids will love it, and yes, the alcohol boils off. We sometimes take this a step further and put out a grater and three or four hard cheeses for folks to choose either a pecorino, an aged goat Gouda, a Parm or other salty, aged piece of magic for their pasta. —Andrew ZimmernSlideshow:Fast Weekday Pasta
1/4 pound applewood smoked bacon, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
2 cups finely chopped onion
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
2 tablespoons minced garlic
1 cup vodka
One 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes
1 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup frozen peas, thawed
1/3 cup torn basil leaves
Freshly ground pepper
1 pound dried farfalle pasta
Parmigiano-Reggiano, for serving
How to Make It
In a large, deep skillet, cook the bacon over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until browned and nearly crisp, about 8 minutes. Add the onion and crushed red pepper, season with salt and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion is golden, about 10 minutes. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, 1 minute. Carefully add the vodka and cook, scraping up any browned bits on the bottom of the skillet. Add the tomatoes with their juices and bring to a boil. Cover and simmer over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until the tomatoes start to break down, about 10 minutes. Uncover and simmer until reduced slightly, about 5 minutes longer. Stir in the cream and peas and cook, stirring occasionally, until the sauce is slightly thickened, about 5 minutes. Stir in the basil and season with salt and pepper.
Meanwhile, in a large pot of salted boiling water, cook the pasta until al dente. Drain the pasta, reserving 1/4 cup of the cooking water. Add the pasta to the skillet along with the reserved cooking water and cook over moderate heat, stirring, until the pasta is coated, 1 to 2 minutes. Transfer the pasta to bowls, sprinkle with Parmigiano-Reggiano and serve right away.
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