• Farfalle a la Vodka


A Zimmern Family Favorite

By Andrew Zimmern

Farfalle a la Vodka is a favorite at my house, and perfect 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.

Farfalle a la Vodka

Servings: 6

Total: 40 minutes


  • 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
  • 1 tablespoon AZ & Badia Italian Seasoning, Tuscan Style
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • 1 pound dried farfalle pasta
  • Parmigiano-Reggiano, for serving


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,Tuscan Sun spice blend, 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 farfalle until al dente. Drain the pasta, reserving 1/4 cup of the cooking water. Add the farfalle 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.

Originally published in Andrew Zimmern’s Kitchen Adventures on foodandwine.com.
Photograph by Stephanie Meyer

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