by Chef Cesare Casella
The smoky characteristics of the Maker’s 46 pair perfectly with the bacon and cream in Chef Casella’s signature pasta dish.
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 2 hours
10 tablespoons Maker’s 46™ Bourbon
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 cup red onion, chopped into 1" pieces
1/2 cup celery, chopped into 1" pieces
1/2 cup carrot, chopped into 1/2" pieces
3 whole garlic cloves, coarsely chopped
1/4 cup basil leaves, torn
1/4 cup parsley, chopped
7 slices bacon, julienned into 1/4" pieces
1 can whole canned tomatoes, hand crushed, 28 ounces
1 cup water
2 cups heavy cream
2-1/2 cups parmigiano cheese, finely grated
1 cup chives, finely chopped
Pinch of red pepper flakes
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 pound fusilli pasta, cooked al dente
- Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Combine the onion, celery, carrot, garlic and half of the herbs in the saucepan. Cook until the vegetables are softened and begin to caramelize, stirring often, about 15 minutes. Add the pinch of red pepper flakes a few minutes into cooking to prevent them from burning.
- Once the vegetables have begun to caramelize, add the bacon and cook until lightly browned, about 8 minutes. Reduce the heat to medium. Add 8 tablespoons (1/2 cup) of Maker’s 46™ and cook for another 2 minutes.
- Season with salt and continue cooking until vegetables are soft and golden brown, 15 to 20 minutes.
- Add tomato puree and bring to a simmer. Add water, season with salt and pepper and the rest of the herbs, and simmer very slowly for 30 minutes. Taste for salt and pepper. Puree in a food mill (or a blender or food processor), return to a large sauté pan, and continue cooking 20 to 30 minutes until the sauce is no longer watery. Taste again for salt and pepper and season as needed.
- While the sauce is simmering, bring a large pot of water to a boil and cook the fusilli pasta al dente, according to package directions.
- After the sauce has thickened and reduced, add the cream and cook for 10 minutes more, then add 1/3 of the cheese; stir well. Mix in the cooked pasta and stir to coat completely. Add remaining cheese and 2 tablespoons of Maker’s 46™ Bourbon and continue cooking for another 3–4 minutes. Stir in the chives and dust with a bit more cheese. Serve immediately.