Ron Wilson

Ron Wilson

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Any left over vodka? Try this recipe

Well, it was all due to my having leftover vodka from making homemade vanilla that I decided to try Giovanna Trimpe’s recipe for pasta alla vodka. This from the new cookbook in her Holy Chow series of cookbooks, titled Holy Chow: The Hospitality Edition.

Giovanna’s pasta alla vodka


1 pound rigatoni pasta

1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons Kosher salt, divided

Extra virgin olive oil

1/2 cup chopped red onion

1/4 cup chopped pancetta

1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes

3 cloves minced garlic

1 teaspoon black pepper

2 cans, 28 oz or so, crushed tomatoes

6 oz tomato paste

1 cup chopped basil, divided

1 cup vodka

1/2 cup each: half & half and heavy cream

1/2 cup reserved pasta water

Juice of 1/2 lemon


Cook pasta with 1 tablespoon salt and save 1/2 cup of pasta water after cooking to add to sauce.

Cover bottom of large pan with oil and turn heat to medium.

Stir in onion, pancetta and red pepper and cook for a couple more minutes.

Add garlic and stir for another minute or 2, being careful not to burn garlic.

Add 2 teaspoons salt and black pepper. Simmer for a minute or so.

Stir in tomatoes, paste and 1/2 cup basil, then stir in vodka.

Lower heat and cook 20 minutes or so, stirring occasionally.

Stir in half & half, cream and pasta water. The starchy water gives extra body.

Heat through for several minutes.

Add drained pasta, season to taste and add rest of basil and lemon juice.

Holiday gift!

Holy chow’s entertainment edition, along with Giovanna’s other cookbooks, can be purchased at

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