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Food: Nothing Says Love Like Vodka

February 16, 2011

I could have sworn I’d already posted a recipe for vodka sauce, but I guess I only thought I had. But every sauce has its day, and today is the day for my favorite booze-y dressing.

The best part about Penne alla Vodka is that the measurements for most of the ingredients aren’t important -the only ratio you really need to be concerned with is the vodka to tomato. For me, the optimal concentration is 1/2 cup vodka to 3 1/2 cups (one 28 oz can) crushed tomatoes. The rest of the ingredients can be added to your taste, which means you can prepare this on the fly and look very impressive with a glass of wine in your hand, brandishing your spoon as you deftly toss in shallots, garlic, and butter with impunity. For the sake of a written recipe I’ve given quantity suggestions below, but go ahead and alter as you see fit.

Penne alla Vodka
1 lb penne pasta
1/2 cup vodka
3 1/2 cups crushed tomatoes
1 shallot, chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
4 tbsp butter
1 cup heavy cream
handful chopped basil
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese, plus more for topping

Melt butter in a large saucepan over medium heat, add shallot and garlic, saute until fragrant and tender. Add vodka and cook on medium heat for 3 minutes. Add crushed tomatoes, simmer for 5-10 minutes.

Add basil, cheese, and cream, simmer for at least 10 minutes- you don’t want the sauce to taste like raw cream. After ten minutes, taste. If you want more cream, go ahead and add it. Add salt to your taste, stir in cooked pasta. Voila.

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