Penne in Tomato Vodka Sauce

Penne in Tomato Vodka Sauce -

I am a news junkie….but sometimes I wish, I wasn’t.

There does not seem to be even a single story of happiness, inspiration, positivity these days. Just stories of sickness, inequality, discrimination, violence everywhere.

So I am not going to talk about anything that’s happening in our world currently. And instead share joy in the form of this pasta dish.

Today’s pasta dish is winter’s comfort food – rich and creamy with a splash of vodka.

Total indulgence, because it’s got cream, butter, cheese, vodka….. Not for those who are counting the calories. But I would say, have this today and do an extra round of exercise tomorrow. What’s life if you don’t indulge occasionally?

And if you haven’t used vodka in a sauce before, you absolutely must. I am not sure how to describe the flavour but it adds a certain depth, an extra oomph to the sauce. Doesn’t matter if you don’t drink alcohol; just buy a small bottle of vodka just for this purpose. You need very little and since all the alcohol content burns off, you don’t have to worry about giving it to kids too.

Sausages are not an essential ingredient for this pasta dish. You could either omit it completely or add any protein of choice. Mushrooms are an excellent choice for this dish too.

Easily available ingredients, so add it to your weekend shopping list and enjoy the delicious experience of this Penne in creamy Tomato Vodka Sauce.

Penne in Tomato Vodka Sauce

  • 750 gms penne
  • 4 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 pack (375gms skinless sausage/footy franks; sliced)
  • 3 shallots; sliced
  • 3 medium garlic cloves; crushed
  • ¾ cup tomato paste
  • ¼ tsp sugar
  • ¼ cup vodka
  • Salt (to season)
  • Black pepper; to season
  • Chilli flakes; as much as you wish
  • 300 ml heavy cream
  • 4 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 2 tbsp fresh parsley; finely chopped
  • Parmesan; grated for garnish
  1. Cook the penne in salted boiling water as per packet instructions; drain (but reserve water) and keep aside.
  2. Heat 2 tbsp oil and add the sliced sausages; fry lightly for 1-2 minutes, drain and keep aside.
  3. Heat the remaining oil and add the garlic and shallots; sauté till softened.
  4. Next add the tomato paste and sugar; cook on low heat for 2 minutes or till the paste turns a vibrant brick red.
  5. Then add the vodka and continue to cook on low heat for another 2 minutes (it’s important to cook for 2 minutes so that all the alcohol evaporates leaving behind only the flavour)
  6. Next add the cream followed by the pasta and fried sausages; season with salt, pepper and chilli flakes.
  7. Add the butter and enough pasta water to get a rich, creamy sauce like consistency.
  8. Serve warm with grated parmesan and fresh parsley.
Main Course

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