I know, my stove is really gross and I could stand to purchase a new set of pots and pans. Don’t judge me.
Forgive my yellowy iPhone picture, as it makes the pasta almost look like cheeseburger helper. It’s actually more of a pale pink, rather than orange.
This is one of those dishes I make when company comes over or on a busy weeknight. I just kinda eyeball everything and it can be easily customized to whatever your taste buds desire.
Penne alla Vodka
- 2 tablespoon unsalted butter (not needed if adding sausage)
- 1 box of penne pasta
- 3-6 links hot or mild poultry sausage, casing removed
- 1 cup light whipping cream
- 1/4 cup tomato paste
- 1/3 cup mid-grade vodka, plus 2 tablespoons (such as Skyy, Svedka, Smirnoff, Absolut or Stolichnaya. DON’T USE CHEAP VODKA!)
- 2 tablespoon fresh basil, chopped or 1 teaspoon dried
- red pepper flakes, to taste
- salt and pepper, to taste
Since I’m adding sausage which typically has enough fat in it, I’m omitting the butter, but if you intend on making it without sausage make sure you add butter. Brown sausage in a large pan over medium until cooked thoroughly. Add cream, tomato paste and vodka, stirring until combined. Add basil, red pepper flakes, salt and pepper. Simmer over medium-low heat for 5-10 minutes or until sauce coats the back of a spoon. Cook pasta simultaneously according to package directions. Drain and add pasta to sauce. Season with Parmesan cheese and additional red pepper flakes. Yum!
Some variations would be to add shrimp or chicken, fresh or frozen broccoli florets or serve it as a side dish without a protein added. I’ve also made it with spaghetti before, but the penne seems to be the best option because it holds the sauce really well.