Penne alla Vodka

Penne alla Vodka is often simmered for hours for maximum flavor, but KCET's own Cook's Country figured out an ingredient mix that is delicious without being time consuming -- keep the ingredients on hand and throw it together on a busy evening!

Photo courtesy Cook's Country
Photo courtesy Cook's Country

Penne alla Vodka
Serves 4
1 tablespoon olive oil
3 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 (28-ounce) can crushed tomatoes
1/2 cup oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes, rinsed and chopped fine
1/2 cup vodka
3/4 cup heavy cream
Salt and pepper
1 pound penne pasta
1/3 cup minced fresh basil

Bring 4 quarts water to boil in large pot. Meanwhile, heat oil in 12-inch skillet over medium heat until shimmering. Add garlic and pepper flakes and cook until fragrant,
about 30 seconds. Add crushed tomatoes and sun-dried tomatoes and cook until slightly thickened, about 5 minutes. Off heat, add vodka. Bring sauce to boil, reduce heat to medium, and simmer until thickened, 12 to 15 minutes. Off heat, stir in cream. Season with salt and pepper to taste; cover and keep warm.

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Add pasta and 1 tablespoon salt to boiling water and cook, stirring often, until al dente. Reserve ¼ cup cooking water, then drain pasta and return it to pot. Toss sauce and basil with pasta, adding reserved pasta water as needed. Serve.

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