Baked Spicy Vodka Pasta with Parsley Pesto
- Food processor
- Large pot
- Large baking dish
- Large skillet
- 1 cup fresh basil leaves
- 1 cup fresh parsley
- 2 Tbsp toasted pine nuts
- 1 garlic clove smashed
- ½ cup olive oil
- ⅓ cup freshly grated pecorino romano
- Zest of 1 lemon
- Kosher salt and Black pepper to taste
- 2 tbsp olive oil plus more for drizzling
- 1 small onion finely chopped
- 5 cloves garlic minced
- 3-6 Calabrian chilies chopped (make it as spicy as you’d like! you can also sub red pepper flakes)
- 1-4.5 oz tube tomato paste
- ½ tsp dried oregano
- ½ cup vodka or dry white wine
- ¾ cup heavy cream
- 1 lb. pasta of choice rigatoni, penne, ziti, all work great!
- ½ cup grated pecorino romano plus more for serving
- Kosher salt and pepper to taste
- 8 oz fresh mozzarella sliced
- Begin by preparing the pesto. In a food processor, pulse basil, parsley, pine nuts, garlic, and olive oil until a coarse paste forms. Add in pecorino cheese and lemon zest and pulse a few times to combine. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Set aside.
- Bring a large pot of water to a boil over high heat for cooking the pasta. Grease a large baking dish with olive oil.
- Meanwhile, heat a large skillet over medium heat. Add onions and garlic and cook until softened.
- Add chiles and tomato paste and cook, stirring, until tomato paste beings to darken in color, about 3-5 minutes.
- Stir in oregano.
- Deglaze with vodka and let reduce slightly.
- Stir in cream and pecorino. Season with salt and pepper. Turn heat to low while boiling pasta.
- Season boiling water heavily with salt. Drop in pasta and cook until pasta is just under al dente. As pasta cooks, add splashes of pasta water to the sauce to thin slightly.
- Drain pasta and add to pan with sauce. Stir to coat pasta in sauce, and add more splashes of pasta water, if needed, to create a creamy, emulsified sauce.
- Turn broiler to high.
- Pour pasta into prepared baking dish. Top pasta with dollops of pesto*
- Lay fresh mozzarella over the pasta. Sprinkle with more pecorino and drizzle with olive oil.
- Broil for 5-7 minutes until cheese is melted and golden. Keep an eye on this, as it can burn quick!
- Serve with more pesto on the side for extra topping if desired 🙂
- You won’t need all the pesto for this recipe. Just add as much to the top as you’d like. You can keep the extra in the fridge or freezer for future uses.
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!