Best Penne alla Vodka Recipe


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Hear me out. To make the perfect model of penne alla vodka step one is to peel the pores and skin from a lemon. Hand reduce the peel into the thinnest strips (no pith!) after which place the zest into your vodka when you prep the remainder of your substances. Using lemon-scented vodka flecked with zest in your creamy tomato vodka sauce is a sport changer. There are a lot of different concerns that I’ll define beneath that assist while you wish to throw collectively this one-pot crowd-pleaser!

What Makes Great Penne all Vodka?

If you wish to make nice penne alla vodka, give attention to the sauce. There are a lot of methods to strategy this Italian (and Italian-American) basic, common within the Eighties. You’ll see variations made with canned tomatoes, whereas others completely use tomato paste. Some recipes name for lots of tomatoes, others barely any. Some actually go for it with heavy cream, I like to make use of simply sufficient cream to create a wealthy, silky sauce with out diluting the tomato taste excessively. This recipe delivers a shiny, wealthy tomato vodka sauce that adheres superbly to the pasta. The taste has dimension from the 2 sorts of tomatoes used, and the scent (and bursts) of lemon zest.

Penne alla Vodka: The Ingredients

  • Dried penne pasta: Use a good-quality dried pasta right here. Penne is the basic pasta form to make use of, however rigatoni is one other favourite. Something chunk sized with plenty of floor space for the vodka sauce to cling to is the important thing. For a little bit of added vitamin, discover complete wheat pastas, or pasta made with lentils or chickpeas. A endlessly favourite of mine is the Monograno Felicetti Farro Penne Rigate.
    ingredients for cooking penne alla vodka including tomato paste, dried pasta, basil, and garlic
  • Tomato Paste: I have a tendency to make use of the tiny cans of tomato paste right here, as a result of I exploit about ~1/3 cup. But when you have sufficient in a tube, that’s wonderful.
  • Canned Tomatoes: Look for good-quality complete canned tomatoes. I name for a 14-ounce can, however generally all you will discover are 28-ounce cans of complete tomatoes. In this case, use
  • Heavy Cream: A professional-tip right here is, keep away from going overboard with the heavy cream. I see some recipes calling for upwards of a cup. You can use much less, and keep the creaminess you’re after. A bonus is your sauce will keep stunning shade. Add an excessive amount of cream and the sauce rapidly adjustments to a mushy pink, whereas the tomato taste weakens.
  • Olive Oil or Butter: I have a tendency to make use of olive oil after I make penne alla vodka, however butter can be great. Use both.
  • Vodka: The vodka in penne alla vodka performs just a few essential roles. It heightens flavors when sure alcohol soluble compounds within the sauce substances are launched by the vodka. It additionally helps to maintain the sauce superbly silky and emulsified. And sure, a lot of the vodka cooks off with a little bit of time simmering.
  • Garlic, Onion, Chile Flakes, and many others: I dial up the garlic for this recipe. It has time to melt and mellow, so don’t be alarmed. And the onions are diced, I like a very small cube right here. So you’re getting onion bits all through the sauce and never bigger chunks.
penne alla vodka being served on a marble table set with plates and a cloth napkin


Here are some favourite variations on penne alla vodka that I’ve cooked through the years.

  • Penne alla Tequila: Quite actually, I don’t are likely to maintain vodka in my pantry. So I’ve to plan forward after I wish to make this. In a pinch, when you have tequila and never vodka, go forward and make the swap. Super good.
  • Make it Spicy: My favourite strategy to make penne alla vodka spice is so as to add a little bit of spicy Calabrian pepper paste (the one I purchase most known as Bomba di Calabria)) to the sauce on the identical time the tomato paste is added. Go simple, a few of these pastes are wildly spicy. A ending drizzle of a spicy chile olive oil can add dimension and one other layer of warmth. I like Brightland’s chili olive oil for this (not sponsored, only a fan), or drizzle just a few drops of oil from the jar of Calabrian pepper paste.
  • Make it Vegan: You could make this recipe vegan by skipping the Parmesan, utilizing olive oil to simmer the onions, and utilizing a cashew cream instead of heavy cream. To make cashew cream, soak 1 cup of cashews in 1 cup of water for thirty minutes or so. Puree in high-speed blends till silky easy.
penne alla vodka in a bowl with creamy sauce finished with lots of Parmesan cheese

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