Thursday, January 10, 2013

Penne With Vodka Marinara

If you've met me at all ... you know that I love pasta. In fact, there isn't much Italian that I dislike unless it comes from The Olive Garden.

A few weeks ago, I'd hosted a wine party at my house, and when we finished all the wine? We started on the booze. I had a little leftover, so I thought ...well? I've never had a vodka sauce before, let's give it a whirl. Vis-a-vis:

(c) Williams Sonoma

I have to say, it was pretty delish!! Here's what you'll need:

4T unsalted butter (or, you can use stick margarine like I did!)
1C heavy cream
1/4C tomato paste
1/3C + 2T Vodka
2T basil (it was recommended you use fresh, but all I had was the dried basil in my spice cabinet)
1tsp + 2T salt
Pinch crushed red pepper
1 box of pasta

Make the sauceBring a large pot of water to a boil over high heat. In a large fry pan over medium-low heat, melt the butter with the cream. In a small bowl, dissolve the tomato paste in the vodka. Stir into the cream mixture. Add the basil and red pepper flakes. Season with the 1 tsp. salt. Cook until most of the alcohol has evaporated and the sauce is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon, about 5 minutes.

Cook the pasta
Meanwhile, add the 2 Tbs. salt and the pasta to the boiling water. Cook, stirring occasionally to prevent sticking, until al dente, according to the package instructions. Drain, reserving about 1/2 cup of the cooking water. Add the pasta to the sauce and warm briefly over low heat to blend the flavors. Add the cheese and toss to combine. Add as much of the reserved cooking water as needed to loosen the sauce and serve.

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