060 - Penne a La Vodka


060 - Penne a La Vodka

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Penne a la Vodka

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 onion, chopped
1 (28 ounce) cans crushed tomatoes
1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
6 - 8 fresh basil leaves, chopped or 1/8 teaspoon dried basil leaves
Kosher Salt to taste
1/2 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
8 tablespoons butter, divided
12 ounces fresh white mushrooms, quartered, about 3 cups
1/8 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes ( to taste)
1/2 cup vodka
3 cups heavy cream
1 tablespoon kosher salt
1 1/2 lbs rigatoni pasta or 1 1/2 lbs penne
1/4 cup dry parmesan cheese, plus additional for the table

1. Heat the oil in a large saucepan; when hot, saute the onions until golden brown, about 5 minutes.
Add crushed tomatoes to the saucepan.

2. Stir in the oregano, basil, salt and pepper and simmer 1 hour to concentrate flavors.
3. While the sauce is cooking, heat 4 T of the butter in a skillet over medium heat. Saute the mushrooms and hot pepper flakes until the mushrooms are golden.

4. Carefully add the vodka and simmer for 5 minutes to cook off the alcohol.

5. Add the heavy cream and bring to a simmer; pour the cream mixture into the tomato puree; stir to mix. Keep the sauce warm while cooking the pasta.

6. Add the kosher salt to 6 quarts of water. Bring to a rolling boil. Add pasta to boiling water; cook uncovered until pasta is al dente, about 12 minutes. Drain well.

7. Melt the remaining 4 T of butter in a large skillet. Stir in pasta to glaze, then add Parmesan cheese and mix thoroughly. Stir in 1/3 or the sauce and mix with the pasta; divide among plates. Top each plate with some additional sauce; pass remaining sauce and additional cheese at the table.