Attack of the Killer Tomato Sauce with Penne

Total Time
Prep 10 mins
Cook 35 mins

This is one of those pasta recipes where the pasta really takes a back seat to the sauce. The sauce really is amazing, or as one of my kids would say, "Killer!"

Ingredients Nutrition


  1. Coarsely chop the garlic.
  2. Find a sauce pan or skillet that will be large enough for all the cooked pasta and sauce at the end.
  3. Heat the oil the saucepan over medium heat and when the oil is warm add the chopped garlic and saute for 3 minutes.
  4. If using fresh tomatoes, cut them into 1-inch pieces.
  5. Add the fresh or canned tomatoes to the pan and cook for 20 minutes.
  6. Season to taste with salt and pepper, then add the red pepper flakes.
  7. Bring a large pot of cold water to a boil.
  8. Meanwhile, place the pan with the sauce over low heat and let it simmer while you cook the pasta.
  9. Add coarse salt to the boiling water, then add the pasta and cook for 8 to 11 minutes.
  10. How long it cooks really depends on the brand of pasta.
  11. You should let it go for 1 minute less than for normal al dente.
  12. Meanwhile, coarsely chop the parsley.
  13. Drain the pasta and add it to the pan with the tomato sauce.
  14. Add the vodka, mix very well, and raise the heat to medium.
  15. Saute for 1 minute, stirring the pasta vigorously with a wooden spoon.
  16. Add the cream, and taste for salt and pepper.
  17. Mix for 30 seconds to allow the cream to get well absorbed into the pasta, then sprinkle on the parsley.
  18. Transfer pasta to a serving dish, and serve immediately.
Most Helpful

DH and I enjoyed this easy, tasty recipe for lunch today. I liked that it contained ingredients that I typically have on hand and it was good comfort food for a cold day like today in Michigan. I used canned tomatoes, and made no modifications to the recipe. I liked the kick from the hot pepper flakes, the creaminess of the sauce, and the fresh parsley. This was very simple, but good. Thanks for posting. I would make this again.

Dr. Jenny February 06, 2011

This is the best way to use up fresh tomatoes that are starting to turn,or soften..Wonderful flavor.Used fresh parmesean on top,before serving...I will make this often..Thank U for this great recipe...

Potluck June 03, 2009

This was amazingly good. The kick it gets from the pepper flakes is a wonderful contrast to the creaminess of the sauce. I used canned tomatoes as well, since it's only March, and good fresh tomatoes are still months away, but I didn't drain them. I used the suggestion of the reviwer who said they'd cook it longer with the canned tomatoes, adding another 10 minutes in step 5. They were much softer then, but still fairly chunky, so I used my immersion blender to get the texture that we like. I also added about 1/2 teaspoon each of dried basil and oregano in place of the parsley, but put it in when I gave the tomatoes another 10 minutes. As a last addition, I topped the pasta with sliced chicken breast to add a bit of protien to our meal. I will definately be using this one again!

IngridH March 29, 2008