Macaroni with Vodka Sauce

Recipe makes 6 servings.


  • 1 ½ cups Plain Tomato Sauce
  • ½ cup whipping cream
  • ¼ cup butter
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
  • ¼ pound pancetta, cut into 4 slices and diced
  • 1 pound grooved macaroni, such as penne or rigatoni
  • ½ cup vodka
  • ½ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese


  1. Prepare Plain Tomato Sauce.
  2. Melt butter in a large skillet. When butter foams, add pancetta. Sauté over medium heat until lightly colored. Add vodka and stir until it has evaporated. Stir in tomato sauce and cream. Simmer uncovered 8 to 10 minutes.
  3. Season the mixture with salt and pepper.
  4. Fill a very large saucepan two-thirds full with salted water. Bring water to a boil. Add macaroni. Bring water back to a boil and cook macaroni uncovered until tender but firm to the bite, 8 to 10 min­utes.
  5. Drain macaroni and place in skillet with sauce. Toss macaroni and sauce over medium heat until sauce coats macaroni, 20 to 30 seconds.
  6. Top with Parmesan cheese and serve immediately.

Helpful Tip

Pancetta is Italian bacon that is dry cured with salt, pepper, and spices. Pancetta is not smoked. Unlike English and American bacon that is smoked, and is usually sliced, pancetta is salt-cured and not smoked. Generally, pancetta is sold rolled up into sausage shapes.