This use to be one of my favorite recipes when I was in my twenties. I thought it would be fun to try this recipe with some sweet and spicy pickles and I was right…it’s the bomb! Use whole tomatoes in this recipe instead of canned crushed. It’s nice to have little pieces of tomato in the farfalle with vodka sauce.
1 tablespoon olive oil
3 cups San Marzano whole tomatoes in their juice
2 Italian sausage links, casings removed, about 8 ounces
1/3 cup yellow onion, finely chopped
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 cloves garlic, minced
½ teaspoon red chili pepper flakes
2 tablespoons Famous Dave’s spicy pickles chips, minced fine
½ cup vodka
¼ teaspoon dried Italian herbs
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 cup heavy cream
1 cup grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese
1 pound farfalle pasta, (bowtie or penne)
Kosher salt to season
¼ cup reserved pasta water
Put the tomatoes and their juice in a medium sized bowl. Squeeze the tomatoes with your hands until crushed into small pieces. Set aside.
Heat a large pot of salted water to boil. Add the pasta and cook until al dente. Remove from the heat and drain. Set aside.
Heat a large sauté pan to medium heat. Add the olive oil, onion and Italian sausage. Cook for approximately 10 minutes or until the sausage is browned and cooked through, making sure to break the sausage up into little pieces as it browns. Add 2 tablespoons of butter and then the garlic and chili pepper flakes and cook for about 2 minutes longer. Stir in the chopped pickles.
Add the crushed tomatoes, dried herbs, nutmeg and vodka and cook over medium heat for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Slowly pour in the cream and cook over low heat for about 5 minutes. Add half the cheese and mix well. Add in the pasta, reserved cooking liquid (if needed) and remaining cheese and mix well. If needed add a little kosher salt and mix. Garnish with basil. Serve warm.
If you can’t find Famous Dave’s pickles, use a pickle that is both sweet and spicy.