Penne alla vodka

photo by spatchcock photo by spatchcock
photo by spatchcock
Ready In:




  • Bring 6 quarts of salted water to a boil in an 8-quart pot over high heat.
  • Pour the tomatoes and their liquid into the work bowl of a food processor.
  • Using quick on/off pulses, process the tomatoes just until they are finely chopped.
  • (Longer processing will aerate the tomatoes, turning them pink.) Stir the penne into the boiling water.
  • Bring the water back to a boil, stirring frequently.
  • Cook the pasta, semi-covered, stirring occasionally, until done, 8 to 10 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat.
  • Whack the garlic cloves with the side of a knife and add them to the hot oil.
  • Cook, shaking the skillet, until the garlic is lightly browned, about 3 minutes.
  • Lower the work bowl with the tomatoes close to the skillet and carefully slide the tomatoes into the pan.
  • Bring to a boil, season lightly with salt and generously with crushed red pepper, and boil 2 minutes.
  • Pour in the vodka, lower the heat so the sauce is at a lively simmer, and simmer until the pasta is ready.
  • Just before the pasta is done, fish the garlic cloves out of the sauce and pour in the cream.
  • Add the 2 tablespoons butter or oil, if using, and swirl the skillet to incorporate into the sauce.
  • If the skillet is large enough to accommodate the sauce and pasta, fish the pasta out of the boiling water with a large wire skimmer and drop it directly into the sauce in the skillet.
  • If not, drain the pasta, return it to the pot, and pour in the sauce.
  • Bring the sauce and pasta to a boil, stirring to coat the pasta with sauce.
  • Check the seasoning, adding salt and red pepper if necessary.
  • Sprinkle the parsley over the pasta and boil until the sauce is reduced enough to cling to the pasta.
  • Remove the pot from the heat, sprinkle 3/4 cup of the cheese over the pasta, and toss to mix.
  • Serve immediately, passing additional cheese if you like.

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  1. Fantastic recipe! We found it to be very flavorable.
  2. Oh Oh Oh, This is to die for! Creamy! I had lost my own version of this, and was terribly upset, but this fits the bill nicely! I used lots of red pepper flakes and 1 full cup freshly-grated parmesan. I also replaced 1/2 cup tomato liquid for another 1/2 cup vodka. A keeper!


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