This week’s Whip it Up theme was Regional Favorites. Well I live in New York, so what’s a regional favorite besides pizza, street cart pretzels and hot dogs, or bagels? Well my area of the Bronx is Italian, so I decided to make an Italian dish. AND I got to use a recipe from my friend D.A.R., which I’ve been dying to make for FOREVER. I bring you Penne Alla Vodka, D.A.R. style.
-28 oz can crushed tomatoes
-4-6 cloves of garlic, minced
-2 tablespoons olive oil
-1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
-1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley (or 1 tablespoon dried)
-2 tablespoons vodka
-1/2 cup heavy cream
-fresh basil (as much or as little as you want)
-1 tablespoon butter (optional, but highly recommended)
-1 box of penne (I used Rigate)
1. In a large pot, boil salted water and cook penne about 10-12 minutes.
2. In large, deep saute pan, heat olive oil on medium.
3. Saute garlic until soft, do NOT burn! If you burn it, throw it out, clean your pan and start over.
4. Add tomatoes and red pepper, cook down about 15 minutes.
5. Add parsley and vodka, cook alcohol out–about five minutes.
6. Add cream and basil, turn down heat.
7. Finish with a tablespoon of butter to make the sauce silky smooth. This step is optional, but well, I’ve never met a dish that wasn’t better with butter.
8. Toss in pasta, top with parmesan and serve!
1. Was the recipe easy to follow?
Extremely. I have never made a sauce from scratch before, and it was super easy to do. Just make sure to keep the sauce on a low flame. You don’t want to burn it!
2. Did the dish taste good?
This question does not deserve to be asked of the Penne. It. Was. Amazing. Actually I’m eating leftovers for lunch now and it’s still amazing. Dave had two servings, so clearly we know that it was good.
3. Would you make it again?
We hadn’t even finished dinner yet and Dave insisted that I put this in “the book”. (My book of recipes.) So yes, we will be making this again. And again. And again.
4. Leftover quotient?
A good amount. Dave and I are both pasta lovers (especially me) so there isn’t a huge amount leftover, but definitely enough that he had two servings for dinner, I had it for lunch today, and there’s enough for at least another lunch for one of us.
5. Any additions/edits to the recipe?
None. Is perfect as is. I didn’t use an exact teaspoon of crushed red pepper flakes though, I just kind of sprinkled them into the pan as I liked.
6. Dave’s thoughts:
“Best penne vodka recipe I have ever tasted. The fresh basil and red pepper were in perfect balance. I ate two bowls, and wiped the pan it was cooked in down with bread… I needed every last drop of it. Not suggested for those watching their weight – it was very hard to stop!”
Clearly, you all need to go and MAKE THIS NOW! And thank D.A.R.’s godmother, who passed the recipe onto her.