October 20, 2015

Penne with Vodka Sauce

Vodka Sauce Cover

With the weather cooling down quickly and bikini season far behind us, it’s acceptable to eat pasta every night… right?  Even during warmer weather, I crave a large, comforting bowl of pasta at least once a week.  For me, penne vodka is one of the most classically comforting pasta dishes there are.

My penne vodka recipe is simple & comes together quickly with only 5 ingredients.  The ‘secret’ is using your favorite jarred marinara sauce as a base for the vodka sauce.  I know, I know – if you’re going to go through the effort to buy jarred marinara sauce, why not buy jarred vodka sauce?  You’ll just have to trust me; this recipe is totally worth making yourself. 

The Tips

Vodka Sauce 1

Vodka Sauce 2

Vodka Sauce 3

Vodka Sauce 6

Vodka Sauce 5

The Recipe

Penne with Vodka Sauce
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  1. 1 lb penne
  2. 1 jar Rao's (or your favorite brand) marinara sauce
  3. 1 cup vodka
  4. Salt and pepper to taste
  5. 1 tablespoon dried parsley (optional)
  6. 1/4-1/2 teaspoon red pepper flake (optional)
  7. 1/2 cup heavy cream, at room temperature
  8. 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese, plus extra shavings for serving
  1. Set a large pot of water atop the stove and bring to a boil. Once the water comes to a boil, add a healthy amount of salt (water should taste like the sea) and cook the penne until al dente - tender but still firm to the bite - stirring occasionally so the pasta doesn't stick to itself. Note: Follow the instructions on the pasta's box to cook it properly, as cook time will vary depending on the type of pasta you are using.
  2. While the pasta is cooking, make the sauce. Combine the marinara sauce and vodka in a large pan over low heat atop the stove. Simmer until the mixture reduces by 1/4, stirring often with a rubber spatula, about 20 minutes Add salt and pepper to taste, then the dried parsley and red pepper flake if applicable. Stir in the heavy cream until the sauce is combined and heated through.
  3. Once the pasta is cooked, use a slotted spoon to scoop the pasta into the sauce. Add the grated Parmesan cheese and toss until completely combined. Top pasta with additional Parmesan, parsley, and/or red pepper flake.
  1. If you are using gluten free pasta, rinse the pasta before adding it to the sauce - Drain the cooked pasta in a colander in the sink, then rinse with hot water before adding it to the sauce. This eliminates the gummy texture gluten free pasta tends to have, without deterring the sauce from coating it properly.
Adapted from Giada DeLaurentiis
Lana del Crave https://lanadelcrave.com/

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