Penne alla Vodka “Jackie O”

Penne alla Vodka "Jackie O."

Penne alla Vodka "Jackie O."

Legend has it that Jackie O. ordered Penne alla Vodka whenever she visited Italian restaurants in America and in Europe, helping make it all the rage in fashion-conscious circles by the mid 70’s. Pepe’s version is to poach large prawns in the heated vodka sauce, then serve over penne and garnish with crispy chopped pancetta and peas creating his famous “JFK”.
Penne alla vodka "JFK"

Penne alla vodka "JFK"

Penne alla Vodka “Jackie O”

INGREDIENTS (serves 4-6)

- 1 jar Pèpe & Pants Vodka Sauce

- ½ cup diced pancetta

- ½ cup cooked large peas

- Small bunch of pea sprouts

- Pinch of crushed red pepper (optional)

- Parmesan or Percorino cheese for grating or shaving

- Italian parsley for garnish (chopped or pulled leaves)

- Basil infused olive oil for garnish (or high quality extra-virgin olive oil)

- 1 pound penne pasta (or other cut pasta your choice)

- one shot high quality vodka (optional)

- 1 ½ pounds large prawns (optional to create the “JFK”)

DIRECTIONS

Heat a large flat bottom sauté pan over medium heat. Sauté pancetta until caramelized and crispy, stirring often. Remove pancetta and hold on side. Pre-cook peas and hold on side. Add 1 jar Pèpe & Pants Vodka Sauce and heat gently on low. If adding additional vodka, add now. Add red pepper flakes if desired. If using prawns, add now and cook gently about 3 minutes.

Cook the pasta in 4 quarts of boiling salted water, approximately 8-10 minutes until firm but not overcooked. Drain lightly and add cooked pasta to sauce pan. Add one half of the crispy pancetta and peas and toss together, coating evenly.

PLATING PROCEDURE

Place pasta on a large serving platter or individual plates and top with remaining crispy pancetta and peas. Sprinkle on pea sprouts (if you can find them) or parsley, drizzle with basil-infused olive oil and add grated or shaved cheese.

Note: by adding prawns and red pepper, you have created the “JFK”.