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    You are in: Home / Recipes / Penne With Vodka Pumpkin Sauce Recipe
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    Penne With Vodka Pumpkin Sauce

    Total Time:

    Prep Time:

    Cook Time:

    1 hr 15 mins

    30 mins

    45 mins

    ~Paula~'s Note:

    A recipe presented at the 7th annual Kohler Food & Wine Experience (October, 2007) by chef Leah Caplan of The Washington Island Hotel, Restaurant & Culinary School - Washington Island, Wisconsin. A very comforting seasonal pasta dish!

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    Units: US | Metric

    • 1 lb penne pasta
    • 2 cups leeks, thinly sliced-white and light green parts only
    • 1/4 cup virgin olive oil
    • 4 garlic cloves, whole peeled
    • 1 teaspoon sea salt
    • 1/2 cup vodka (Chef Caplan used "Death's Door Vodka")
    • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
    • 4 cups winter squash, peeled, seeded and diced (butternut, red kuri, Long Island cheese, kabocha, or blue hubbard)
    • 5 cups water
    • 2 teaspoons fresh rosemary or 2 teaspoons sage, minced
    • 1 1/2 cups fresh mozzarella cheese, diced
    • stravecchio cheese, grated (Chef Caplan used Antigo Stravecchio, but you may substitute other fine aged local artisanal cheese)


    1. 1
      In a large sauce pot, combine leeks, olive oil, garlic, and sea salt.
    2. 2
      Cook over medium heat until leeks are very tender and translucent and garlic is soft enough to be easily mashed with a wooden spoon (reduce heat if necessary - do NOT brown!) This will take about 10-15 minutes.
    3. 3
      Turn heat to high and add the vodka and crushed red pepper flakes.
    4. 4
      Reduce the vodka until there is just a thin layer of liquid in the pan and a nice aroma in the air.
    5. 5
      Add the squash (the smaller the dice, the quicker it will cook), the water, and rosemary or sage.
    6. 6
      Simmer 10-20 minutes, adding water if necessary until the squash is soft enough to mash with a wooden spoon or potato masher to create a slightly chunky sauce.
    7. 7
      In the meantime, cook 1 pound dried penne pasta in plenty of boiling salted water until almost tender.
    8. 8
      Scoop the pasta into the sauce pot, adding some of the pasta cooking liquid as needed to maintain the sauce consistency.
    9. 9
      Season with drizzled olive oil, sea salt and freshly ground pepper to taste.
    10. 10
      Stir in the diced mozzarella.
    11. 11
      Serve with grated Stravecchio cheese.

    Ratings & Reviews:


    Nutritional Facts for Penne With Vodka Pumpkin Sauce

    Serving Size: 1 (439 g)

    Servings Per Recipe: 4

    Amount Per Serving
    % Daily Value
    Calories 788.2
    Calories from Fat 230
    Total Fat 25.5 g
    Saturated Fat 7.8 g
    Cholesterol 33.1 mg
    Sodium 868.7 mg
    Total Carbohydrate 108.6 g
    Dietary Fiber 15.2 g
    Sugars 4.7 g
    Protein 19.7 g

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