This is one of my all time favorite dishes and one of my most frequently asked for. People just love it, especially in the winter when the warmth and spiciness of this dish balance out the weather outside. Jam packed full of carbs and a little protein this dish definitely gives you the energy your body needs to stay warm. All that aside though it is a classic Italian dish you cant do wrong with for your next dinner party or next time your children have their friends over for dinner. Enjoy!
10 Min Prep, 50 min Cooking Time
1 Deep Skillet For Sauce
1 Pot to boil water and cook pasta
1 Pack of Penne Pasta (Usually feeds 4-5)
1-1.5 650ml Bottles of Tomato Sauce (basic pomodoro or tomato & basil)
1 TBSP of Butter (Salted
1 Cup of Vodka
200-300gramsBlack Forest Ham (chopped finely - almost minced)
1 TSP of Chili Flakes (optional)
1 Medium box of 35% Whipping cream
Parmesan Cheese (1 Cup Shaved and 1 Cup for garnish)
Salt and Pepper to Taste
Melt the butter down in a skillet on Medium heat. Once the butter is melted and hot add in the minced ham tossing it until it becomes crispy.
Once the ham is crispy add in your cup of vodka. It will create some more heat and steam but don't worry all the alcohol will burn out. This helps all the flavor from the ham that stuck to the bottom of the skillet to be transferred back into the flavors of the sauce later. Let this cook down until there is only a little bit of moisture left. Take your time.
Next add in the tomato sauce (weather homemade or bought from the store you want the most basic pomodoro kind). This will add in a lot of liquid to your sauce so make sure you boil this down as well so that a lot of the water evaporates and you are left with a nice thick sauce. About 20-30 minutes.
If you want your sauce to be a little bit spicy add in your chili peppers now and let them cook into your sauce now. Sprinkle and stir. You can also add in some Salt and Pepper now to yourtaste.
Next add in your cream. First about a 1/2 cup stirring the whole time then a 1/4 cup until you get the perfect red/orange colour. You can taste it as you go to see if you want more cream. To help thicken the sauce up shave about a cup of parmesan down and add it into the sauce, stir it in. Let the water cook out of this while you start cooking the pasta.
** Some people like to use a hand blender and blend the sauce at this point so that the small bits of ham become undetectable and the sauce is extra smooth in texture.
Boil water for the pasta add about 1-1.5 TBSP of salt to the water once it boils. Add in pasta and let it cook till it is al dente
Now you should be ready to serve the sauce with the pasta. You can either mix it together or spoon some sauce on top of a plate of pasta. Garnish with more parmesan cheese and a slice of baguette.
I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as I do! Please let me know your thoughts and comments below Id love to hear from you! Happy cooking :)