Rigatoni con Prosciutto Pomodoro

Have the fire extinguisher nearby for this fiery recipe.  And when it’s ready to serve, enjoy a glass of Scott Harvey Barbera.

1 lb rigatoni
Kosher salt
3 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
3 cloves of garlic, thinly sliced
4 slices prociutto (or fresh ham), thinly sliced
1/2 cup vodka
3 tablespoons of heavy cream
Red chile flakes
2 cups of your favorite tomato or marinara sauce
Grated Parmagiano Reggiano cheese (plus more as needed)

INSTRUCTIONS
Brings 6 cups of water to a boil. Add rigatoni and salt to boiling water.

Heat extra-virgin olive oil in saute pan and add sliced garlic.  Cut  prosciutto into 1/3-inch strips and add to the pan.  Remove the pan from the heat, add vodka to the pan, set the bottle safely away from the flame.  Use a long-necked grill lighter to carefully ignite.  Caution: Step back as you do this (this is where the fire extinguisher may come in).  Allow the flames to go out, then stir the contents of the pan.

Add the heavy  cream and stir to combine.  Add the tomato sauce and chile flakes.  Bring to  a fast simmer and cook for 1 or 2 minutes.  Turn off heat and allow sauce to  rest.  About one minute before the suggested cooking time on the pasta package,  drain the pasta, reserving some of the cooking water.  Add the pasta to the  sauce. Turn the heat back on to low medium.

Grate cheese over pasta.  Turn off heat and toss the rigatoni, mixing in the  cheese.  Inspect noodles. To make them glossier, add extra-virgin olive oil.  To  make them looser, add cooking water.

Serve the pasta and finish with grated Parmigiano Reggiano. Sugo di  pomodoro.

Courtesy of Mario Batali Cooks in The Sacramento Bee – March 16, 2011

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