Penne a La Vodka


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Servings: 6-8
1hr 15mins
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 (28 ounce) can crushed tomatoes
  • 1⁄4 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 6 -8 fresh basil leaves, chopped or 1⁄8 teaspoon dried basil leaves
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1⁄2 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
  • 8 tablespoons butter, divided
  • 12 ounces fresh white mushrooms, quartered, about 3 cups
  • 1⁄8 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes (to taste)
  • 1⁄2 cup vodka
  • 3 cups heavy cream
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 1 1⁄2 lbs rigatoni pasta or 1 1⁄2 lbs penne
  • 1⁄4 cup dry parmesan cheese, plus additional for the table
  • Heat the oil in a large saucepan; when hot, saute the onions until golden brown, about 5 minutes. Add crushed tomatoes to the saucepan.
  • Stir in the oregano, basil, salt and pepper and simmer 1 hour to concentrate flavors.
  • While the sauce is cooking, heat 4 T of the butter in a skillet over medium heat. Saute the mushrooms and hot pepper flakes until the mushrooms are golden.
  • Carefully add the vodka and simmer for 5 minutes to cook off the alcohol.
  • Add the heavy cream and bring to a simmer; pour the cream mixture into the tomato puree; stir to mix. Keep the sauce warm while cooking the pasta.
  • Add the kosher salt to 6 quarts of water. Bring to a rolling boil. Add pasta to boiling water; cook uncovered until pasta is al dente, about 12 minutes. Drain well.
  • Melt the remaining 4 T of butter in a large skillet. Stir in pasta to glaze, then add Parmesan cheese and mix thoroughly. Stir in 1/3 or the sauce and mix with the pasta; divide among plates. Top each plate with some additional sauce; pass remaining sauce and additional cheese at the table.

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