I have also tried so many recipes and there was always something off with each one of them. So after making it many times, I decided to create my own recipe and take what I liked from all of them and make my Penne ala Vodka. It has some spice, two different proteins and the creamy goodness we all look for in a vodka sauce.
I hope you enjoy.
6 thick slices of pancetta (I try to get it from the deli, but sometimes I get a packet of large diced pancetta)
3/4 pound mild italian sausage
1 pound uncooked penne pasta
2 tsp minced garlic
1/4 to 1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes (depending on how much heat you like)
1 28 oz can crushed tomatoes (plum are the best)
1 cup heavy whipping cream
1/4 cup vodka
I used 4 oz of large diced pancetta this time.
1. Cook your pasta according to the package. You want to cook it until it is al dente. Drain and set aside.
2. In a stock pot, add olive oil. Just about a teaspoon of oil is all you need. Brown your pancetta. Once your pancetta is brown, removed to a bowl/plate. Make sure you leave the drippings. If you have a lot of oil drippings, discard some. You want about a tablespoon of drippings.
3. Add your sausage to the drippings and cook it until it is browned.
4. Add your garlic and red pepper flakes and cook for a minute until your garlic is fragrant and slightly browned.
5. Add your pancetta back in along with the canned tomatoes. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes.
6. Add your vodka and whipping cream and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, add in your pasta, toss and let it all come together. About 2 to 3 minutes.
7. Season with salt and pepper to your taste. Serve and enjoy.
This isn't a very healthy dish, but it packs the flavor and is a favorite in my home.