This is penne a la vodka at it’s best – a vodka-infused sauce with a hint of cream for indulgence, with peas mixed in for a bit of health in every bite.
Every so often, I cave and cook something that I know the.boy will love.
And by “every so often” I mean twice a year – Valentine’s Day and his birthday.
The rest of the time, it’s The Joanne Show around these parts, although you should take into consideration that I sacrificed my brussels sprouts consumption this year for his taste buds, which was HUGE on my part. HUGE.
I’m so selfless sometimes that it hurts.
The.Boy lived on pasta with jarred tomato sauce before we moved in together, and I’m pretty sure he could have gone on doing so, fairly contentedly, ever and anon.
And then I came along with my passion for vegetables, organic, local, from-scratch eating, and things would never be the same again.
So this is kind of a throwback to his bachelor lifestyle, except a MAJOR step up because it is filled with vodka, a touch of cream, and fire-roasted tomatoes.
You won’t find anything close in any jar that I know of.
Because, even though this meal is supposedly for him, it is really still The Joanne Show. Just being honest.
Four years ago…Orzotto with Leeks and Sun-Dried Tomatoes
Five years ago…Sausage and Peppers Pizza
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tbsp butter
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 shallots, minced
- 1 cup vodka
- 1 cup vegetable broth
- 32 oz canned fire-roasted diced tomatoes
- Salt and black pepper, to taste
- 1 lb penne
- ½ cup heavy cream
- 20 leaves fresh basil, thinly sliced
- 1 lb frozen peas
- Set salted water to boil for cooking pasta.
- Meanwhile, in a large pot, heat olive oil and butter over medium heat. Once the butter is melted, add in the garlic, shallots, and a pinch of salt, sautéing for about 3 minutes, or until shallots are starting to caramelize. Add the vodka to the pot and and reduce it by half, simmering for 2-3 minutes. Stir in the vegetable broth and tomatoes. Bring to a boil, and then reduce heat to a simmer. Season to taste with salt and pepper and let simmer while the pasta cooks.
- Once the pasta water is boiling, cook the pasta according to package instructions. Pour the frozen peas into the colander that you will strain the pasta is. Once the pasta is cooked, strain it, pouring the boiling water over the peas to cook them.
- Stir the cream and basil into the sauce. Toss the sauce with the pasta and peas, and serve.