Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Penne A La Vodka

Hearty and tasty

The Good: Absolutely delicious and easy to adjust to your own taste-buds and spicy level!
The Bad: The recipe takes a bit of time to cook up.
The Ugly: Be careful on the type of tomatoes you use.  We have made this recipe several times and it tastes a lot different (and gross) if you use cheap tomatoes or crushed/diced tomatoes.

Suggestions Before Starting:
When buying ingredients, be sure to buy the better tomatoes... We like Del Monte.
It is best to have all ingredients measured and ready before you start.
Be careful when cutting up the tomatoes, sometimes they squirt at you.
We add crushed red pepper instead of black pepper to make the recipe a little bit spicy and so it pairs better with red wine.
As always, feel free to use your favorite noodle type.  I like to use Rigatoni, Penne or Farfalle (bowtie) in order for the noodle to hold in the sauce!  Remember to adjust the time you start the noodles to how quickly your stove heats up and how long your noodles take to cook.  Our stove is generally very quick so we turn the water on when there is 5 minutes left of the vodka step.
If you need help with how to use fresh garlic please visit our older post.
I like to "cook" the sauce into the pasta on low heat for flavor for a couple of minutes, stirring constantly so the heavy cream does not burn.
Now for the recipe from

Recipe Total Time: 50 minutes+10 for piddling
Recipe Yields 4-6 Servings
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 (28 oz) can whole peeled tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh basil
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/4 c vodka
  • 1 lb penne pasta
  • 1 pint heavy cream
Cutting toms down
  1. In a large skillet over medium heat, cook garlic in olive oil until tender (1-2 minutes.)
  2. Stir in tomatoes and gradually break up tomatoes into bite sized pieces with fork.  Stir in basil, salt and pepper and simmer for 15 minutes.
  3. Stir in vodka and cook 15 more minutes.
  4. Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil.  Add pasta and cook for 8-10 minutes or until al dente. Drain.
  5. Stir cream into sauce and cook 10 more minutes.  Toss with hot pasta.

Finalized sauce

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