Penne alla Vodka
I have a confession to make, this was the first time I had this pasta. Every time I thought about it, I would think about how much cream, fat and calories were in it and then I’d talk myself out of it. Here, there’s my compromise; there’s cream but it’s half & half, and it’s also half the amount other recipes call for!
1 375 g box of whole wheat penne
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
½ tsp red chili flakes
1 medium onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, crushed
½ Cup Vodka
1 680 ml jar of passata (strained tomatoes)
1 Cup stock (I use sodium reduced beef broth)
½ Cup half and half
Handful fresh Italian parsley
Handful fresh basil
– Bring a large pot of water to boil for the pasta.
– Cook the pasta for 2 minutes less then the package directions.
– Add the oil to a large sauté pan and then add the chili flakes to the oil; turn the heat to high to infuse the oil.
– When the oil is hot, the chili flakes will start to sizzle, add the onions and season with salt and pepper.
– Drop the heat to medium high and sauté the onions until they are soft and translucent, about 5 to7 minutes.
– Add the garlic and sauté for about 30 seconds, careful not to let it burn.
– Add the vodka (take a step back, the steam here is stronger then when adding wine). Take the pan away from the heat completely if you are working on an open flame.
– Gently scrape the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon to release any flavours.
– Let the alcohol boil out, about a minute and then add the passata.
– Add the stock to the jar and shake it to rinse out any remaining tomato sauce and then add it to the pan; mix well.
– Season with salt and pepper.
– Bring the sauce to a boil and then drop the heat to medium low and let the sauce simmer for 20 minutes.
– Add the cream.
– Remove one cup of the pasta water when the pasta has finished cooking (2 minutes less then package states) and add it to the sauce.
– Add the pasta to the pan and turn the heat to medium, let the pasta finish cooking in the sauce.
– Don’t let the sauce come to a boil though because the cream may curdle.
– When the pasta is cooked, taste and adjust seasoning and then stir in the fresh parsley and basil.
– Serve immediately.
- Feel free to use 5% in place of half % half.
- Serve with a grilled chicken or grilled shrimp, always a great way to boost to nutrients and lean protein.