I love pasta. I could never do a carb-free diet… because, I love pasta.
When I was a little girl, the only thing I would eat was Macaroni and Cheese in the Blue Box. And then my pasta diet grew up a little bit to pasta with butter and balsamic vinegar. (I had some recently, and it’s still delicious!) I love pasta.
Now, my favorite pasta sauce is Vodka Sauce. And I’d always wanted to try making my own. Then I found a recipe on a friend’s food blog. So I made it! It takes time to make because the sauce actually gets baked in the oven, but I multi-tasked and while the sauce was doing its thing, I prepared dinner for the following night! When I opened the oven to pull out the sauce, it smelled like Italy. Okay, so I haven’t actually been to Italy, but it’s what I imagined Italy would smell like. I would also advise to not skip out on the fresh oregano. I’ve been known to substitute dried herbs in lieu of purchasing fresh (because I can’t grow my own…) but in this recipe, I’m glad I didn’t. The best bites were those with some fresh oregano. I love pasta.
Penne with Vodka Sauce
- 1/8 C olive oil
- 1/2 onion, diced
- 1 large clove garlic, minced
- 1/4-1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes depending on your spicy preference
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- 1/2 C vodka
- 6 roma tomatoes, peeled and chopped
- 1/2 lb penne pasta
- 2 tbsp chopped fresh oregano, divided
- 2/3 C heavy cream
- 1/4 C parmesan cheese, plus extra for garnish
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
- In a large, oven-proof skillet, saute onion in olive oil over medium-high heat. When translucent, add garlic, pepper flakes, dried oregano, S+P. Pour in vodka and cook until reduced by half, stirring occasionally.
- Put the peeled tomatoes in the pan and crush with a potato masher. Season with S+P, cover, and bake for 1 1/2 hours. Remove and let cool slightly.
- Cook pasta according to box directions.
- Blend cooled tomato sauce and heavy cream and puree until smooth. Return to the stove and simmer for 10 minutes. Stir in 3/4 of the fresh oregano, S+P. Toss in the pasta and parmesan cheese.
- Garnish with remaining oregano, extra Parmesan, and red pepper flakes if desired.
*This recipe makes 2-3 servings and is modified from Tara at http://www.tarasmulticulturaltable.com/penne-alla-vecchia-bettola-penne-in-tomato-vodka-cream-sauce/*