Highly Rated Penne Alla Vodka

"This recipe was taken from America's Test Kitchen's Best-Ever Recipes with slight modifications. It has become a family favorite and is easy to make. I suggest using Smirnoff Vodka and whole tomatoes without any additional seasonings to avoid unnecessary sugar/salt. For those of you with allergies, I personally use lactose-free whipping cream and Tru Roots ancient grains penne to make it lactose-free and gluten-free. Baked chicken is a great addition to complete the meal!"
photo by amanda.nagy photo by amanda.nagy
photo by amanda.nagy
Ready In:




  • Puree half of the tomatoes in a food processor until smooth (about 20 seconds).
  • Chop the remaining tomatoes into 1/2 inch pieces, discarding the cores. Combined the pureed and diced tomatoes in a liquid measuring cup (about 1 2/3 cups). Add the reserved liquid to equal 2 cups.
  • Bring 4 quarts water to a boil in a large pot for the pasta. Add 1 tablespoon salt and the pasta to the boiling water. Cook, stirring often, until the pasta is almost al dente.
  • Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium heat until shimmering. Add the onion and tomato paste and cook, stirring occasionally, until onion is light golden around the edges (about 3 minutes).
  • Stir in the garlic and pepper flakes and cook until fragrant (about 30 seconds).
  • Stir in the tomatoes and 1/2 teaspoon of salt. Remove the saucepan from the heat and add the vodka.
  • Return the saucepan to medium heat and simmer, stirring frequently, until the alcohol flavor has cooked off (8-10 minutes).
  • Stir in the cream and cook until hot (about 1 minute).
  • Reserve 1/4 cup of the pasta cooking water, drain the past, and return it to the pot.
  • Stir in the sauce and toss to combine. Cook over medium heat until the pasta absorbs some of the sauce (about 1-2 minutes). You can thin the sauce with the reserved pasta cooking water if needed.
  • Stir in the basil and serve. Pass grated Parmesan cheese separately for extra flavour!
  • Slice and add baked chicken on top (optional).

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