penne alla vodka
really kicking myself for not having made this before now. i blame it on two things— my not buying cream all that regularly, and not really a vodka drinker. so it never crossed my mind. but it’s insanely delicious and absolutely worth the tiny bit more effort than a regular red sauce (maybe even less effort, but slightly more dishes to clean).
basically— boil some water for penne pasta. while that’s getting started, sweat diced onions in butter, add tomato paste. let it meld a bit, add garlic, and whole peeled tomatoes. a spoonful of pesto. let all that meld together for 10-15 minutes, crushing the whole tomatoes as you stir. then add like a cup of cream and bust out the immersion blender, pureeing until it’s smooth.
about 3 minutes before the pasta is al dente, add a shot of vodka into the sauce and keep stirring. too much vodka will ruin the dish, don’t do that. add salt and pepper to taste. transfer pasta directly to the sauce, adding pasta water as needed to keep the sauce silky.
serve hot with some parmesan or other similar hard white cheese and enjoy !