Recipe – Penne Pasta with Vodka, Bacon & Chili

Pasta is so comforting and generally economical, assuming in this case that you have a bottle of vodka lurking around somewhere.

Full of flavor and and easy to prepare, you can use prosciutto, ham or cooked bacon (which happened to be all I had when I threw this together). If I’d planned a little better, I’d have gone with prosciutto but that’s up to you as it was still very good.

Penne with Vodka, Bacon & Chili

Penne with Vodka, Bacon & Chili


(serves 4)


2 oz (50g) of butter

3.5 – 4 oz (100g) of prosciutto, ham or cooked bacon – chopped

2 tablespoons of tomato puree/paste

1 heaped tablespoon of chopped Italian flat leaf parsley

5 tablespoons of crème fraîche

3 tablespoons of vodka

1/4 – 1/2 a teaspoon of dried chili flakes (increase or decrease to taste)

10-11oz (300g) of penne pasta or other short pasta shapes

Sea salt & freshly ground black pepper


In a saute pan, melt the butter gently and add the prosciutto, tomato puree, dried chili flakes and half of the parsley. Stir over a low heat, cooking for approx 8-10 minutes while you get the pasta started. Season with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper.

Now add the vodka and crème fraîche to the tomato/chili/parsley mixture and give it a good stir, simmering for another minute or so to evaporate the alcohol. Check for seasoning.

Drain the al-dente cooked pasta briefly then immediately add to the sauce in  the pan and toss to coat.

Transfer the pasta to warmed bowls and sprinkle with the remaining parsley. Offer some grated Parmigiano Reggiano to go around.

Love pasta? Try these other great pasta recipes.

About edibletcetera

I'm passionate about food; I cook, photograph, eat...then writes about it in that order. I'm also an occasional restaurant critic and caterer; a former newspaper columnist; author; social media/marketing communications; world traveler; dog lover; skier...and wit, (according to those who know me).
This entry was posted in Made in Under 30 mins, Meat, Pasta. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Recipe – Penne Pasta with Vodka, Bacon & Chili

  1. Cathy Jandegian says:

    We have elk liver and heart and the wild turkey breast for you maybe when your coming this way you can get it, the elk is from yesterday and in the freezer


    • Oh thank you, Yes! I’m thinking I’ll make a rillettes (coarse pate) with the turkey breast – maybe stuff and braise the heart and perhaps a smooth pate with the liver? Never eaten elk liver so not sure how game-y it is….I’ll bring it round for you to eat once I’ve made it 🙂

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