April 24, 2011

Pasta with Bacon Vodka Cream Sauce

If you follow me on Twitter, you know that I love all things pork, especially bacon. I've even made bacon vodka a couple times.

Yes, that's right...BACON vodka. I first made it for a bacon class I was teaching; we used it to make Bloody Marys & BLT martinis (with lettuce water, fresh tomato juice, a crouton rim & a sprinkle of bacon salt that tasted JUST LIKE the sandwich...no joke).

To make your own bacon vodka, you just cook up some bacon. Add it to a big jar with an entire bottle of vodka. Let it hang out in your pantry for a few weeks (it will look like a science experiment after a while, but don't be alarmed). Fish out the bacon. Freeze the jar of vodka. Strain. Strain. Strain. Drink. It's tasty shit. For real.

If you don't want to make your own, you can now buy a bacon-flavored vodka called Bakon Vodka. I have to tell ya, though...homemade taste more like real bacon. The flavored stuff smells and tastes like bacony Bac~Os. So, just make your own. Homemade bacon vodka has a smokey, rich taste. REALLY good in mixed drinks AND food.

I made a vodka cream sauce...because pasta, tomatoes, cream, and bacon seemed like a natural combination. Initially, I used a Rachel Ray recipe (gasp!) called You Won’t Be Single For Long Vodka Cream Pasta that I found on Smitten Kitchen. I chose this particular recipe because it calls for an entire cup of vodka, unlike most recipes which only use 1/3 to 1/2 cup, and only 1/2 cup of cream. I wanted to taste the bacon essence, dammit! Still, even with my omitting the addition of 1 cup of stock in favor or more vodka, I simply couldn't distinguish any of the bacony goodness.

So, I decided to create my own vodka cream sauce recipe to highlight my bacon vodka:

1. Saute a small onion, diced, in about a tablespoon of extra-virgin olive oil. When the onion is soft, carefully add 1 cup of bacon vodka. It shouldn't ignite, but it's best to turn off the heat when you add the booze. Simmer this until slightly reduce, 3 minutes or so.

2. Then, add 1 cup diced tomatoes (I blanched & peeled a few Campari tomatoes; you should use the freshest, ripest tomatoes you can find). Season with salt & pepper (and, if you'd like, some fresh thyme or oregano). Cook until the tomatoes start to break down, 5 minutes or so.

3. Stir in 1/4 cup heavy cream and cook just until the cream is warm. Serve over penne noodles.


Kitchen Riffs said...

Wow! Bacon vodka? I've never heard of it, but I'm really impressed. Sounds weird, but amazingly good. The recipe is nice too - bacon vodka is brilliant in it. Thanks.

Louis said...

I've never tried that kind of sauce before. It's very unique but it actually looks good. Thanks for sharing.

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