Penne with Spiced Vodka Sauce
Another definite winner in my books! For hours my husband and I have be going “I’m still thinking about that pasta” and “OMG…it was really good.” I ate way more than I should have, and I’m not ashamed at all!
Full disclosure – I used regular chopped tomatoes instead of strained tomatoes, and I’m sure that will affect the taste (as well as the color). That being said, there’s so much cheese and other goodies in this recipe I’m willing to bet it will still be 10/10.
While the water heated to boiling, the sauce is prepped. First garlic and crushed red pepper are cooked over the stove, and then removed from the stove before the vodka is added to make sure nothing catches fire.
Let me repeat that, because it’s pretty darn important. REMOVE PAN FROM STOVE BEFORE ADDING VODKA TO AVOID HOUSE FIRE!
I was very paranoid about this, so I poured in the vodka SUPER slowly. It bubbles and hissed a lot, but no fire for me.
Once that’s done, tomatoes are added and back on the stove we go to simmer for a few minutes before turning off the heat and stirring in some cream.
The sauce did cool a bit while I was waiting for the pasta to cook, but it doesn’t really matter since it’s all being combined and cooked again at the end anyway.
When the pasta is ready, it’s drained and combined with the sauce and basil over low heat. Then Parmesan and fresh mozzarella are added right before serving.
I would make this all the time if I could. Honestly. It’s AMAZING. It has tons of dairy (delicious) and the crushed red pepper adds the perfect amount of kick.
You definitely need to be careful with the vodka, but otherwise this is a pretty straightforward pasta sauce recipe. Lots of chopping and using the stove.
Vodka will of course bring the cost up on this one, but that won’t be an issue if you already have some on hand. Other ingredients include garlic, crushed red pepper, strained tomatoes, light cream, penne, fresh basil, Parmesan cheese, and fresh mozzarella cheese.