Boil the water and cook pasta until just underdone. Reserve some of the pasta water and drain.
Meanwhile, cut the pancetta into one-inch strips. Place into a thin layer in a large pan and heat to medium-high. Cook until brown and crispy.
Remove any excess grease from the pan (leaving about a teaspoon). Add the garlic and cook until fragrant (about another minute).
Raise the heat to high, add the vodka to the pan and cook until some of the alcohol has cooked off (3-4 minutes).
Add the tomato puree and stir until combined. Lower the leat to low and Let simmer for another 5 minutes.
Stir in the cream, pasta, parmesan cheese, parsley, and cooked penne. Cook until the pasta is fully cooked. Adding reserved pasta water if the sauce is too thick.
Taste for seasoning and add salt and pepper as needed. Serve and enjoy.
When cooking the penne, salt the water like you mean it. Pasta water should taste of the ocean. It’s the only time you get to add flavor to the pasta. The best sauce in the world can't make up for bland pasta!
Undercook the pasta and finish cooking it in the sauce. This allows the pasta to absorb the flavor and thickens the sauce.
Use Good quality tomatoes San Marzano Tomatoes are best for any tomato-based sauce. They are sweet in flavor and low in acidity.
When choosing vodka, choose one you like to drink. If you like the flavor by the glass (or mixed with cocktails), you'll enjoy it in your food as well.