We thought this was unusual until we found out you can get sugo from Italy with vodka already added! The pasta doesn’t taste like vodka but it gives a kind of glycerous texture. We’re going to cook another pasta with vodka to try and understand the effect better. This recipe is kind of old fashioned – my Granny never cooked pasta but if she did she probably would have done a sauce like this (only without the vodka). That’s not a criticism – it’s the pasta version of a good stew!
Penne Rigate Alla Vodka – to serve 4
- 50g butter
- 1 thick slice cooked ham, diced
- 2 tbsp tomato purée
- 1 tbsp chopped flat-leaf parsley
- 5 tbsp double cream
- 3 tbsp vodka
- 350g penne rigate
Melt the butter in a pan, add ham, tomato purée and parsley, season and cook, stirring now and then, for about 10 minutes. Stir in the cream and vodka and cook until the vodka has evaporated and it doesn’t smell so alcoholic. Cook the penne in salted boiling water according to the pack, then drain. Tip it back into the pan and stir through the sauce.
(Original recipe from Silver Spoon Pasta, Phaidon, 2009).
Wine Suggestion: Try a white from Southern Italy like a Greco di Tufo which is minerally, fresh and relatively full-bodied.