Tag: penne

One-Pot Penne alla Vodka

bowl of penne alla vodka pasta with garnish

bowl of penne pasta with garnishbowl of penne alla vodka pasta with garnishOne-pot pasta dishes are so quick and easy to make and it saves even more time without the second pan and the colander to wash. Here’s my version of One-Pot Penne alla Vodka.

There doesn’t seem to be a curated history for Penne alla Vodka. In researching this dish, I found conflicting stories on Wikipedia. Frankly, I think the version that the dish was created to increase sales of vodka seems plausible.

I use red pepper flakes to give the penne alla vodka a little heat and I like to use pancetta for flavor and texture. Some recipes call for peas, which is great for both taste and eye appeal, but husband doesn’t eat them, unfortunately.

The sauce is tomato-based, built on the fat of the sautéed pancetta and some shallots and a little garlic. This is not a dish dominated by any one flavor in my opinion. It’s a lovely meld of creaminess with a slight acidity, saltiness and a touch of heat. The addition of the cream at the end smooths out the sauce and with the starch from pasta, this is indeed a rich and creamy dish!

Note: The most important step is to stir constantly once the liquid comes to a bowl. The pasta sheds starch, which falls to the bottom of the pan and scorches easily. Be sure to have everything in place before cooking – the table set, salad made, bread sliced, etc. The dish is done when the pasta is cooked according to the time on the package.

Heat the oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Stir in the onion, pancetta and salt; cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions are translucent and the pancetta has rendered its fat. Add the garlic and pepper flakes and stir for 30 seconds.

one-pot pasta recipe

Add the tomatoes, vodka, cream, water and pasta; stir to combine.

one-pot pasta recipe

Raise the heat to high and bring to a boil, lower slightly to prevent the liquid from overflowing. Cook for the recommended time on the pasta package for al dente.

Note: The most important step is to stir constantly once the liquid comes to a bowl. The pasta sheds starch, which falls to the bottom of the pan and scorches easily. Be sure to have everything in place before cooking – the table set, salad made, bread sliced, etc. The dish is done when the pasta is cooked according to the time on the package.

one-pot pasta recipe

Stir in the cheese off heat and top each bowl with parsley and/or basil.

one-pot pasta recipe

Watch the Penne alla Vodka video here.
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One-Pot Penne alla Vodka

bowl of penne alla vodka pasta with garnish

A quick and easy one-pot pasta dish great for a busy weeknight.

  • Author: Trish Lobenfeld
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 25 minutes
  • Total Time: 55 minutes
  • Yield: 6 servings
  • Category: Pasta

Ingredients

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 1/2 cups minced onion or shallot
4 ounces pancetta, minced
1 ½ teaspoons kosher salt
1 tablespoon minced cloves garlic (3 medium cloves)
1/8 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes (optional more at your discretion)
1 can (15 ounces) fire roasted tomatoes
1/2 cup vodka
1/2 cup heavy cream
3 cups water
1 pound penne pasta
1/2 cup freshly grated parmesan, plus more for the table                       

Garnish

1/4 cup chopped Italian parsley or basil

Instructions

Heat the oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Stir in the onion, pancetta and salt; cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions are translucent and the pancetta has rendered its fat.

Add the garlic and pepper flakes and stir for 30 seconds.

Add the tomatoes, vodka, cream, water and pasta; stir to combine.

Raise the heat to high and bring to a boil, lower slightly to prevent the liquid from overflowing. Cook for the recommended time on the pasta package for al dente.

Stir in the cheese off heat and top each bowl with parsley and/or basil.

Notes

The most important step is to stir constantly once the liquid comes to a bowl. The pasta sheds starch, which falls to the bottom of the pan and scorches easily. Be sure to have everything in place before cooking – the table set, salad made, bread sliced, etc.