For those of you staying in to watch the Oscars tonight, here’s my favourite pasta dish. It’s quick and easy and, oh so satisfying and delicious! Penne ala Vodka Recipe- In a boiling pot, add 3 tablespoons butter,1-2 shallots, 2-3 garlic cloves, 1/2 cup double or triple concentrate tomato paste, 1/2 Tsp red pepper flakes plus more to taste, 3 tablespoons vodka, Kosher Salt to taste, 1lb penne, 1/2 cup cream, 1 cup grated cup Parmesan, basil or parsley for garnish. Sauté shallots and garlic in butter until translucent, softened and fragrant. Add tomato paste, and red pepper flakes and stir until tomato paste darkens in colour.
Turn OFF heat and add vodka. Be sure heat is off and keep at a distance when adding vodka. Once vodka settles into tomato paste and loosens. Take off heat and transfer to a plate or bowl. Fill the pot with water and add salt till it’s as salty as the sea, and add a little olive oil. Bring to a boil and add pasta and set timer so it’s cooked just al dente. Remove 1-1/2 cups of pasta water before draining pasta in strainer, and keep both pasta and pasta water aside. Return tomato mixture to low simmering pot. Add 1/2 cup pasta water and heavy cream and 1/2 cup Parmesan and stir until cheese is melted. Off heat, pour pasta back into pot and stir. Add remaining Parmesan and pasta water as needed to until pasta glistens and is well coated but not wet. Pasta sauce should be tight on pasta. Season to taste with salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes and top with Parmesan and basil or parsley. Enjoy!