Penne with Vodka Sauce
This has been a crazy week for me. Mother’s day, finals, preparing for Blogher Food, and my boyfriend leaving town for 6 weeks. Blah. I was a little worried about keeping up with posting on here but luckily I’ve got a few recipes up my sleeve.
Last week I was flipping through my recipe binder – the one where I add recipes clipped from magazines – and I was reminded of this one for Penne with Vodka Sauce. I realized it has been way too long since I posted one of my favorite types of food – pasta! There’s nothing better than a warm plate of creamy, fragrant pasta. Just the scent of pasta boiling in the pot makes my mouth water. In fact, writing this post has made me want some pasta for lunch…
Taste: Tangy with a slight spice and kick that hits the back of your throat.
Texture: Dreamy, creamy, cheesy, and smooooth.
Ease: Very easy.
Appearance: How could this dish look bad? Especially when it’s garnished with cheese and basil.
Pros: Full of flavor and easy. The recipe as is can be a great lunch or light dinner. Throw some grilled chicken or sausage in and you have a heartier meal.
Would I make this again? Yes.
Penne with Vodka Sauce
Adapted from Food Network Magazine
- Kosher salt
- 12 ounces whole-wheat penne
- 1 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
- 2 shallots, minced
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 1/2 cup vodka
- 2/3 cup heavy cream
- 1/2 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese, plus more for topping
- Handful of fresh basil leaves, torn, plus more for topping
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the penne and cook as the package directs. Reserve 1/2 cup cooking water, then drain the pasta.
Meanwhile, melt the butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the shallots and cook, stirring occasionally, until slightly softened, 2-3 minutes. Add the garlic and red pepper flakes and cook, stirring, 30 seconds, or until fragrant.
Remove from the heat and stir in the vodka, tomatoes and salt to taste. Return the skillet to medium heat and simmer, stirring often, until the alcohol cooks off, about 7 minutes. Stir in the heavy cream and cook until the sauce thickens slightly, about 3 minutes. Stir in the parmesan and basil.
Add the pasta to the sauce and toss to combine, adding some of the reserved cooking water to loosen, if needed. Season with salt. Serve topped with more parmesan and basil.