Penne alla Vodka with Pancetta and Peas

We were in Fort Dodge a couple weekends ago visiting family and my sister Toni made us a great pasta dish! She had seen this recipe on the Rachael Ray show. The sauce is also known as “You won’t be single for long Vodka pasta sauce”. And Rachael Ray is correct – this sauce is to die for. I made a few adjustments to the recipe – I used pancetta instead of prosciutto, as I like the flavor better.Grab the ingredients and get to chopping! This recipe calls for a cup of Vodka, but trust me, it will not over power the sauce. We found some great gluten free pasta at Walmart that was excellent in this dish.Once everything is chopped up it is time to get started. First heat the olive oil in a large skillet and add pancetta. Render for a couple minutes then add onion, celery, garlic, salt and pepper. Partially cover and cook until very tender, 10-12 minutes.Next, add the vodka and reduce by half. Add tomatoes and tomato puree, simmer for 20 minutes to cook down the tomatoes. Add cream and tarragon or basil and reduce heat to low. Now it is time to cook the pasta. Bring a pot of salted water to boil and cook pasta to al dente (a minute or 2 less than the package directions). Reserve 1/2 a cup of the pasta water.Add peas to the sauce and heat through. Add some of the pasta water to the sauce if too thick. I did not need to do this but you may, depending on how the sauce cooks down.Add pasta to the sauce and toss to combine. Adjust salt and pepper if necessary. Pour into a large serving bowl and it is time to eat! Serve with grated cheese and garlic bread. Cheers!

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