Penne With Vodka Sauce & Capicola

"Trying to find new pasta dishes besides the usual spaghetti and meatballs. I think this was originally posted in Eating Well Magazine."
photo by lazyme photo by lazyme
photo by lazyme
Ready In:




  • Bring a large pot of water to a boil.
  • Cook penne until just tender, 12 minutes or according to package directions.
  • Meanwhile, cook capicola (or pancetta) in a large saucepan over medium heat until crisp, about 4 minutes.
  • Drain on a paper towel.
  • Return the saucepan to medium-low heat; add onion and garlic and cook until the onion is translucent, about 1 minute.
  • Increase heat to high; add vodka and bring to a boil.
  • Boil until reduced by about half, about 2 minutes.
  • Stir in tomatoes, half-and-half, Worcestershire sauce and crushed red pepper to taste; reduce to a simmer and cook until thickened, about 10 minutes.
  • Drain the pasta; serve topped with the sauce and sprinkled with the capicola (or pancetta), basil and pepper.

Questions & Replies

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  1. lazyme
    Yum. I really enjoyed this simple dish. I used pancetta and loved the kick from the red pepper flakes. Thanks, AZ for sharing a nice winner. Made for Think Pink tag.
  2. Karen Elizabeth
    Very much enjoyed, thank you! I didn't look closely enough and used spaghetti rather than penne, my mistake, but equally delicious! I also had to use bacon, fried and crumbled, again, it was very good. We really enjoyed this rich sauce with a bit of a kick! :) I used my own oven-roasted tomatoes, and this was a really good dinner, thank you! Made for PRMR tag game.
  3. Noo8820
    I really enjoyed this...the warmth of the vodka and the zip of the chilli flakes....mmmm...<br/>and the salt of the pancetta was great alongside the sweetness of the tomato sauce ( I whizzed my tinned tomatoes to make the sauce really smooth!).<br/>A simple, but elegant meal...thanks!


<p><span><strong>I am a stay at home mom to two wonderful boys; Joshua (8years), Kaiden (5 years), and baby GIRL, Madalynn (19 months)! &nbsp;I also have&nbsp;two fur babies (cats); Kobee, AJ; we had to put our youngest cat Sly down Jan 2014. :(. I am also&nbsp;married to my best friend, Jeff and have been since April 2005.&nbsp; I love cooking, hate cleaning and will do whatever I can to get out of it!&nbsp;&nbsp;I&nbsp;love grilling and baking.&nbsp;&nbsp;I do most of the grilling at my house, and bake for almost a week straight at Christmas time!&nbsp; I can make or will attempt just about anything,&nbsp;though I rarely make&nbsp;brownies, my husband's are the best!&nbsp; Homemade breads are not my friend, so I am always working on bread baking.</strong></span></p> <p><span><strong>As for recipe ideas (besides zaar) Cooking Light Cookbooks are my favorites.&nbsp; I love to make new meals and try new things; it is hard though because my husband is picky when it comes to veggies (and hates seafood); If it were up to him we would have baked-bread crumb chicken and white rice at least one meal a day!&nbsp; Over the past couple years with zaar, I have found tons of new recipes&nbsp;my family&nbsp;normally wouldn&rsquo;t eat&nbsp;but have been happily surprised with new favorites.</strong></span></p> <p><span><strong>I&nbsp;love to join in&nbsp;all of the tag games; I haven't been as present as I would like, but as soon as my Jeff is back from working in Ohio I will be back in full tagging mode! </strong></span></p> <p><span><strong>Cooking is my hobby and passion, I always like to host the family get togethers and volunteer for the potluck dishes.&nbsp; Most of all though&nbsp;are my kids; being home all day with them is fun and challenging, but I wouldn&rsquo;t trade it for any salary!!</strong></span></p>
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