After years of virtually banishing pasta from my family's diet because of the whole white-flour factor, we've slowly been adding back in whole wheat versions and others that contain protein. I'm not going to lie and say they taste just like the real deal, but with the right sauce, it's hard to tell much of a difference. So now it's really all about the sauce.
One of my favorite pasta sauces is a good vodka one, and not just because I can make a martini while I'm at it. The vodka adds an extra kick to the creamy tomato sauce, making for a rich, flavorful sauce. A friend of mine who lived in Italy for years shared this simple recipe with me, and it's one of my family's favorites.
1/3 c. vodka
1/2 c. freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1 1/2 c. tomato sauce
Melt the butter in a large frying pan, then add pancetta.
After pancetta browns a bit, add in vodka and stir.
Let the alcohol burn off for 1-2 minutes, then stir in tomato sauce and cream.
Let simmer 5-8 minutes while stirring.
Toss with cooked pasta of your choice (penne works well) and cheese.
Image via norwichnuts/Flickr