Penne With Vodka Pumpkin Sauce

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!

Ready In:
1hr 15mins
Serves:
Units:

ingredients

  • 1 lb penne pasta
  • 2 cups leeks, thinly sliced-white and light green parts only
  • 14 cup virgin olive oil
  • 4 garlic cloves, whole peeled
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 12 cup vodka (Chef Caplan used "Death's Door Vodka")
  • 14 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 12 cups fresh mozzarella cheese, diced
  • stravecchio cheese, grated (Chef Caplan used Antigo Stravecchio, but you may substitute other fine aged local artisanal cheese)

directions

  • In a large sauce pot, combine leeks, olive oil, garlic, and sea salt.
  • 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.
  • Turn heat to high and add the vodka and crushed red pepper flakes.
  • Reduce the vodka until there is just a thin layer of liquid in the pan and a nice aroma in the air.
  • Add the squash (the smaller the dice, the quicker it will cook), the water, and rosemary or sage.
  • 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.
  • In the meantime, cook 1 pound dried penne pasta in plenty of boiling salted water until almost tender.
  • Scoop the pasta into the sauce pot, adding some of the pasta cooking liquid as needed to maintain the sauce consistency.
  • Season with drizzled olive oil, sea salt and freshly ground pepper to taste.
  • Stir in the diced mozzarella.
  • Serve with grated Stravecchio cheese.
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@Paula
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@Paula
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"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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  1. Paula
    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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