Monday, July 26, 2010

A Perfect Pantry Meal - Penne Alla Vodka

Since we were away this weekend, I did not have a fresh supply of groceries on hand for Sunday dinner.  This resulted in one of my favorite dishes on the planet - Penne Alla Vodka.  
The recipe I use is based on the version in the Williams-Sonoma Pasta Cookbook.  It is absolutely delicious, super easy to make and surprisingly light.  The best part may be that all the ingredients in this dish are probably things you already have on hand. 

Penne Alla Vodka
adapted from Williams-Sonoma
serves 2-3

8 oz penne
2 tablespoons olive oil
1-2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
1/4 cup vodka
couple shakes of red pepper flakes
1 can diced tomatoes
salt and pepper
1/4 cup heavy cream
handful of fresh parsley, coarsely chopped
parmesan cheese to garnish

In a large pan over medium heat, warm the olive oil. Add the garlic and sauté until just starting to turn golden, 1 to 2 minutes. Remove the pan from the stovetop and add the vodka. Return the pan to medium heat and cook until reduced by half. Add the tomatoes, salt, black pepper and red pepper flakes and simmer, uncovered, for 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, bring a large pot of water to a boil over high heat. Generously salt the boiling water, add the pasta and cook until al dente (tender but firm to the bite), 10 to 12 minutes. Drain well and add the pasta to the pan.

Add the cream and cook, stirring, over medium heat until the pasta is well coated with the sauce, about 2 minutes. Taste and adjust the seasonings. Add the parsley and combine. Garnish with freshly grated parmesan cheese. Serve immediately.

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