Penne Al Forno Alla Vodka

READY IN: 1hr 5mins




  • Mince desired amount of onion (I prefer about 3 slices).
  • Sauté onion in enough olive oil to cover the bottom of a saucepan. Add balsamic vinegar and desired amount of pepper and basil to the olive oil before cooking the onion.
  • After cooking for about 2-4 minutes, pour the half and half on top and simmer for about 7 minutes.
  • Add desired amount of canned tomatoes, but be sure to pour in all of the tomato juice. (I use 3/4s of a can) Mix well and simmer for another 7 minutes.
  • SLOWLY add 5 oz of parmesan cheese: Add 2 spoons full, stir until mixed, repeat until you have enough cheese to cover the top of your pasta dish.
  • After cheese is mixed and melted throughout, remove the sauce from heat.
  • Add the vodka to the sauce right before you begin the next step. You want the sauce to be somewhat cool to keep the alcohol from burning out, as you want this to happen while baking the dish.
  • In a dish big enough to hold all the pasta (mine is around 12x6x3 in), drizzle olive oil on the bottom until the dish is lightly covered. Add a THIN layer of DRY pasta and SPOON a layer of sauce on top. For every three spoons of sauce, add one spoon of water. when the first layer is covered, add another THIN layer of pasta and repeat until running out of sauce. DO NOT SKIP THE WATER.
  • When all sauce is used, the dish should be about 3/4ths full of pasta. If all of the pasta is not submerged in the sauce/water mix, add water until it is.
  • Drizzle Lemon juice and sprinkle oregano over the top (optional).
  • Bake at 375 degrees for 30 minutes.
  • After cooking for 30 minutes, take a fork and dig to the middle and try piece of pasta, if moderatly chewy, top the dish with the rest of your Parmesan and bake for another 5-10 minutes. If if the pasta is still starchy, bake for another 5-10 minutes, then add the cheese, and bake again 10 minutes.
  • Let sit out for at least 5 minutes to cool and finalize the pasta.