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Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Penne alla Vodka

Each day, when I look at the Blog Update thread on the What's Cooking board, I basically drool over each picture and recipe, bookmarking many to be tried in my kitchen.  When this one popped up from Laura, I knew it was one that would have to be tried in our home.  While my husband and I have varying opinions on what goes on top of our pasta (he's a tomato sauce guy and I'd rather have a little oil, garlic and dash of salt), we both agree that vodka sauce is delicious.  I had made some homemade pasta (light wheat pasta, using my KitchenAid pasta press - a wedding gift my husband didn't think I'd ever use, but I've definitely proved him wrong!), and I had leftovers which I had frozen a few nights earlier.  So this seemed like the right time to try this recipe out.

The recipe was pretty simple to make, though I was a little pressed for time due to a little mix up with another recipe I was trying out just before (post to come later this week on that), so I started making this sauce forgetting to prep everything (rookie mistake, I know!) so as I realized I needed to cut up some garlic, the onions ended up getting a tiny bit burned.  But, in the end, I don't think it mattered much.  The end result was delicious and I would definitely make this again.  It doesn't take too long, even with a little prep time (which I'll remember to use wisely next time!), so it's something that I can whip up after work and still eat at a relatively normal hour.  And honestly, aside from the 1/2 cup of heavy cream, the sauce doesn't really have anything unhealthy in it!

Penne alla Vodka (from Tide and Thyme)

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 too vigorous.
Stir in cream and cook until 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 parmesan.


  1. One of my very favorites! The WC boards have always been a great inspiration for me as well. Looks great!

    1. Thanks! Your post just looked so delicious I had to try it myself!