Penne alla Vodka

Penne alla Vodka

Penne alla Vodka
Whether or not this dish of tube-shaped penne pasta lavished with a peppery, vodka-laced cream and tomato sauce was created in Italy is a matter of heated debate in some quarters; some say it was the result of aggressive marketing on the part of vodka importers. Whatever the case, it has become firmly entrenched as an Italian American classic.Landon Nordeman

Whether or not this dish of tube-shaped penne pasta lavished with a peppery, vodka-laced cream and tomato sauce was created in Italy is a matter of heated debate in some quarters; some say it was the result of aggressive marketing on the part of vodka importers. Whatever the case, it has become firmly entrenched as an Italian American classic.

Penne alla Vodka
The authenticity of this Italian-American classic is debatable; but you can't argue the flavor of peppery, creamy tomato sauce enrobing tender tubes of pasta.
Yield: serves 4-6

Ingredients

  • Kosher salt, plus more to taste
  • 1 lb. penne
  • 14 cup olive oil
  • 1 tsp. crushed red chile flakes
  • 12 cloves garlic, thinly sliced lengthwise
  • 1 (32-oz.) can whole, peeled tomatoes in juice, crushed by hand
  • 14 cup vodka
  • 34 cup heavy cream
  • 1 cup parmesan
  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • Finely chopped parsley, to garnish

Instructions

  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat; add penne, and cook, stirring, until al dente, about 11 minutes. Meanwhile, heat oil in a 6-qt. saucepan over medium heat; add chile flakes and garlic, and cook, stirring, until soft and lightly browned, about 3 minutes. Add tomatoes and vodka, and cook, stirring, until slightly reduced, about 5 minutes. Stir in cream and cheese, season with salt and pepper, and stir until smooth. Drain pasta, and transfer to pan with sauce; toss pasta with sauce until evenly coated. Transfer to a serving platter and sprinkle with parsley.