Farfalle alla Vodka

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 Zimmern

  • Total Time:
  • Servings: 6


  • 1/4 pound applewood smoked bacon, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 2 cups finely chopped onion
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • Kosher salt
  • 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 this recipe

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

Make Ahead

The vodka sauce can be refrigerated for up 3 days.

Contributed By Photo © Stephanie Meyer Published January 2013

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480949 recipes/farfalle-alla-vodka 2013-12-06T23:25:16+00:00 Andrew Zimmern american|italian|pasta-and-noodles|6|fast|make-ahead|weeknight-dinner january-2013 recipes,farfalle-alla-vodka 480949

Aggregate Rating value: 5

Review Count: 3467

Worst Rating: 0

Best Rating: 5

Author Name: Wendy R

Review Body: This recipe is excellent! I have made it multiple times with rave reviews from my family and friends. The only changes I have made to the original recipe is to simmer to sauce for 45 minutes instead of 10 minutes (mostly because I had the time and wanted the tomatoes to break down a little more and the flavor to deepen) as well as using diced pancetta instead of bacon (because that is what I had on hand at the time). I think the peas add a wonderful pop of freshness and a nice hint of green. This has become one of our go-to pasta recipes!

Review Rating: 5

Date Published: 2017-05-01