A Word From The Cook
“Canned tomatoes can be used to make puree or a store bought puree can be substituted for fresh tomatoes – 6 cups of Puree is needed.”
- 10-12 fresh ripe Plum or Roma tomatoes
- 1 fresh clove garlic
- 1 small onion (or scallion if preferred)
- 4-5 thick slices of Pancetta (1/8 inch thick)
- Pinch of red pepper flakes
- 1 cup heavy cream
- ½ cup unflavored Vodka
- 1 package penne pasta (1 pound)
- Salt and pepper to taste
- ½ cup shaved parmesan
- Step 1 – Prepare Tomato Purée
- Score tops and bottoms of each tomato in a crissed-cross motion.
- Boil tomatoes in a large pot for about 20 minutes, until tender to the prick of a fork and skins are turning away where you’ve scored them.
- Allow tomatoes to cool then remove skins from tomatoes. Also remove any tough ends and yellow or stringy parts of tomato (seeds are ok).
- Put prepared tomatoes and garlic clove into a blender, blend until smooth.
- Set aside the puree while you prepare the Pancetta.
- Step 2 – Mince and Brown the Pancetta
- In a food processor fitted with a metal blade, blend the onion and pancetta until finely minced.
- Put mixture into a large, heavy, hot sauté pan and cook over med heat until browned. Stir occasionally for about 15 minutes.
- Add tomato purée to the browned pancetta and onion mixture, simmer (partially covered) for 30 minutes.
- Add vodka and pepper flakes and allow sauce to simmer for another 10 minutes.
- Step 3 – Boil Penne and Finish Sauce
- Boil pasta in large pot of boiling water until al dente (8-9 minutes), drain and return to pot to keep it warm. Add a teaspoon of olive oil to avoid sticking.
- After vodka has been in sauce for 10 minutes, add heavy cream slowly while stirring. Incorporate well and stir until sauce begins to simmer again.
- Add pasta to pan and drag it through the sauce to cover pasta completely.
- Serve immediately with shaved parmesan on top