Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the penne and cook according to the package instructions until al dente. Reserve 1 cup of the pasta water, then drain the pasta and rinse under cold water.
Heat a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the bacon and cook until the edges are crisp, 2–3 minutes. If bacon is not particularly fatty, add 1 tablespoon of butter and stir until melted. Add the shallot and cook until softened, 3–4 minutes. Add the garlic and red pepper flakes and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
Add the vodka and cook until almost completely evaporated, 1–2 minutes. Add the crushed tomatoes, pepper, and salt. Bring to a simmer, then cook for 4 minutes, or until the sauce the mixture comes to a low boil. Add the cream, reduce the heat to low, and simmer for 5 minutes, until the sauce has thickened.
Add the penne and remaining tablespoon of butter and stir until well coated in the sauce. If the sauce is too thick, add a splash of the reserved pasta water.
Remove the pan from the heat. Add the Parmesan and Romano cheeses and stir until incorporated.
Transfer the pasta to a serving dish and top with torn burrata, a drizzle of olive oil, pepper, and basil.
Need easy dinner ideas?
These meals will make your weeknights way simpler. (And tastier!)