Penne alla Vodka is one of my favorite pasta dishes, especially from Sal’s or Buongiorno’s in West Palm. I’ve never attempted to make it myself, but today I came across a recipe for it on Pioneer Woman’s site and decided I’d give it a go.
Now…we can be honest here, right? Ok, good. Now, you all know I support all things Pioneer Woman. I’ve even gone as far as to say, “she’s everything I want to be (minus the ranch, the cows, etc, etc, etc).” But, tonight while making this sauce I started doubting the recipe. About mid-way through, I was taste-testing it and thinking I was going to be very disappointed. BUT…I should have never doubted. I should have known better. As soon as I added the Parmesan cheese at the end, I was very pleased.
This is very good and worth making again. And, now we can add another “non-dessert” recipe to my list of new dishes for 2011 that gets my seal of approval.
Penne alla Vodka
slightly adapted from The Pioneer Woman
1 pound pasta
2 Tablespoons olive oil
2 Tablespoons butter
1 whole medium onion, chopped finely
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 cup vodka
1 can (about 14 Oz.) tomato puree
1 cup heavy cream
1/2 teaspoon salt
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
Cook pasta according to package directions, being careful not to overcook.
In a large skillet over medium heat, add olive oil and butter. When butter is melted, add in chopped onion and garlic. Stir and allow to cook for two minutes. Pour in vodka. Stir and cook for three minutes. Add in tomato puree and stir.
Reduce heat to low and stir in cream. Allow to simmer, being careful not to overheat. Stir in salt and pepper.
Drain the pasta, reserving 1 cup of pasta water in case sauce is too thick. Add cooked pasta to the sauce, tossing to combine. Splash in a little water if it needs it. Stir in Parmesan cheese.
Pour mixture into large serving bowl. Garnish with more Parmesan cheese.
Eat it out of the serving bowl. Faint. Repeat as needed. (Those are PW’s instructions…not mine.)