Start cooking the sauce at the same time as pasta to save time.
Prepare ingredients for the sauce before starting to cook so everything is available when needed.
Bring a pot of water for pasta to a boil and add about a tablespoon of salt. When water starts to boil, add pasta and cook according to the time recommendation on the package.
Strain pasta when it's done and set aside until ready to mix with the sauce.
Heat up a Dutch oven over medium heat and add olive oil. Add diced pancetta (or prosciutto) and sauté until it starts to caramelize.
Add diced shallots and sauté until onions also start to caramelize.
Smash and mince garlic, add it to the pot, and sauté until garlic is fragrant.
Add crushed tomatoes and tomato paste, stir well, and simmer until heated through. Pour in vodka, stir, and let it come to simmer.
Simmer for a 5-7 minutes but make sure to keep the lid on with a small opening for the steam to escape. (Tomatoes will splatter while simmering so the lid will help a lot.)
Stir in heavy whipping cream and add shaved Parmesan cheese, salt, and crushed red pepper flakes. Stir everything together and simmer until the cheese is all melted and smooth.
Lower the heat to low. Stir in minced fresh basil and cooked pasta. Stir until pasta is completely coated with sauce and let it cook for just a couple of minutes over low heat.
TIP: the sauce can be left chunky or blended smooth. If you want to blend the sauce, transfer it into a food processor. Be careful if transferring the sauce to blend because it will be scalding hot. You can also blend just canned tomatoes before adding them to the sauce for a less chucky sauce.