Penne Alla Vodka

Recipe by Bev I Am
READY IN: 45mins




  • Puree half of tomatoes in food processor until smooth.
  • Dice remaining tomatoes into 1/2" pieces, discarding cores.
  • Combine pureed and diced tomatoes in liquid measuring cup (you should have about 1 2/3 cups).
  • Add reserved liquid to equal 2 cups.
  • Heat oil in large saucepan over medium heat until shimmering.
  • Add onion and tomato paste and cook, stirring occasionally, until onions are light golden around edges, about 3 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, 8-10 minutes; stir frequently and lower heat to medium if simmering becomes too vigorous.
  • Stir in cream and cook until hot, about 1 minute.
  • Meanwhile, bring 4 quarts water to boil in large Dutch oven over high heat.
  • Add 1 TBS salt and pasta.
  • Cook until just shy of al dente, then drain pasta, reserving 1/4 cup cooking water, and transfer pasta back to Dutch oven.
  • Add sauce to pasta and toss over medium heat until pasta absorbs some of the sauce, 1-2 minutes, adding reserved cooking water if sauce is too thick.
  • Stir in basil and adjust seasoning with salt.
  • Divide among pasta bowls and serve immediately, passing Parmesan separately.
  • For Penne Alla Vodka With Pancetta:
  • Heat 1 TBS olive oil in large saucepan over medium-high heat, add 3 oz thinly sliced pancetta, cut into 1/2" pieces (about 1/2 cup)and cook until crisp, 6-8 minutes. Using slotted spoon, transfer pancetta to small bowl and set aside. Pour off all but 2 TBS fat from pan and continue with recipe for Penne alla Vodka, using fat in pan instead of oil in step 5, reducing salt to a pinch in step 8, and adding reserved pancetta to sauce along with basil in step 16.