We had some delicious leftover whole roasted veal shanks from Friday’s dinner party. I thought the shanks would make a great ingredient in a pasta dish.

I first started looking online for a pasta sauce, and although I’ve always heard of an Italian vodka sauce, I have never made one. Vodka sauce is actually very easy to make, and the sauce’s roots come from Italian American cuisine. To start the sauce, some Italian pancetta is cooked along with some fresh minced garlic in a heavy bottomed pot, until lightly browned, and the fat is rendered from the pancetta.

Next vodka is added to the pot to deglaze, and tomato paste is added and cooked for a minute or two.

Then the crushed tomatoes are added to the pot along with fresh basil leaves and a pinch of sugar. The sauce is brought to a boil, then simmered at low heat for 30 minutes.

After the sauce has finished simmering, heavy whipping cream is stirred into the sauce, adding a nice orange-y color to the sauce. Season the sauce with salt and pepepr to taste.

To assemble the pasta, al dente Spaghetti is tossed together with the sauce, shredded chunks of veal shank, and topped with fresh basil leaves.

To go with the dish, I made a salad with radicchio, Belgian endive, frisee, and roasted shiitake mushroom vinaigrette.

Vodka Sauce Recipe: http://www.foodandwine.com/recipes/vodka-sauce
Salad of Mixed Greens with Mushroom Vinaigrette: http://www.foodandwine.com/recipes/salad-of-mixed-greens-with-mushroom-vinaigrette