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Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Easy Penne alla Vodka

Easy Penne alla Vodka
Penne alla Vodka is one of Miss F's most favorite pastas. It only trails behind spaghetti and meatballs or Daddy pasta.  I have several recipes that I like, but I really wanted to simplify it for an easier weeknight meal, something that didn't involve hours in the oven or a food processor.  This meal was a huge hit, I served it with pizza chips and broccoli, with barely any leftovers of anything.  Miss F called dibs on what was left for her lunch box the next day.  I liked the fact that the sauce came together in the same amount of time as it took to cook the pasta.
Easy Penne alla Vodka

1 pound penne pasta
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon butter
½ small onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
½ cup vodka
1 tablespoon tomato paste
¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 (14.5 ounce) can crushed tomatoes
1 cup heavy cream
½ teaspoon salt
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese, plus more for serving

Prepare the pasta per package instructions, drain and set aside, reserving the pasta water. In a large skillet, heat the oil and butter over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic, saute for 2 to 3 minutes, until the onion is soft. Add the vodka to the pan, bring to a simmer and swirl in the tomato paste, simmer for 2 minutes more. Stir in the red pepper and tomatoes, bring to a simmer. Reduce the heat to low and stir in the cream and salt, once the mixture begins to bubble, stir in the Parmesan. Add the pasta and ½ cup of the reserved pasta water if the sauce needs thinning. Serve topped with additional Parmesan cheese.
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