Are you starting to feel like you’re reading the chronicles of an alcoholic? First it was the margarita popsicles, and now it’s the pasta a la vodka. It’s 5 o’clock somewhere, right?! (Yes, I realize that the alcohol cooks out, but cooked vodka is about the closest that I come to a wild night nowadays – not including a recent wedding that I got to go to while Austin and Travis babysat the little bear cub - so let me have my fun!)
I was assigned this recipe as a part of the recipe swap that I occasionally take part in. This comes from So Tasty, So Yummy. And, in case you’re wondering, the blog title quite accurately describes the content. I was actually supposed to make the penne a la vecchia bettola, which is very similar looks almost more tasty and yummy, but takes two hours to prepare. Thaaaat’s about 1.5 hours more than I had time for this week. Fear not: I’ll make that one someday soon and report back!
Penne a la Vodka
1 (28-oz) can whole tomatoes, drained, liquid reserved
2 Tbs olive oil
1/2 small onion minced (about 1/4 c)
1 Tbs tomato paste
2 medium garlic cloves minced
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
1/3 C vodka
1/2 C heavy cream
1 lb penne pasta
2 Tbs finely chopped fresh basil
Grated parmesan for serving
Puree half of the tomatoes in food processor until smooth. Dice remaining tomatoes into 1/2 inch pieces, discarding cores. Combine pureed tomatoes and diced tomatoes in liquid measuring cup add reserved liquid to equal 2 cups.
Heat oil in large saucepan over medium heat until simmering. Add onion and tomato paste and cook, stirring occasionally, until onions are light golden around the edges, about three minutes. Add garlic and pepper flakes; cook, stirring constantly until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
Stir in tomatoes and 1/2 tsp salt. Remove pan from heat and add vodka. Return pan to medium-high heat and simmer briskly until alcohol flavor is cooked off, 8 to 10 minutes; stir frequently and lower heat to medium if simmering becomes to vigorous. Stir in cream and cook umtil hot, about 1 minute.
Add pasta sauce to penne pasta that has been cooked to al dente. Stir in basil and adjust seasoning with salt and pepper, top with fresh parmesan.
Source: So Tasty, So Yummy, originally from Cooks Illustrated