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Yes! Pasta!

September 13, 2011

Can I share something with you?   Here’s the thing about me, I’m a seasonal eater.  In the summer I love to barbecue and eat all the fresh fruits and veggies I can.

But when the season starts to turn cooler, I get excited.  I love to make pasta, and soups, and bake with yeast.  Yeah, that’s what fall means to me.  All the wonderful things I didn’t want to eat in the summer because of the heat are now my favorite things to enjoy once the temperature dips.

Right now the weather isn’t sure what it wants to do, it’s been in the 90’s and then a few days later it’s dipped down to the 60’s.  Ah, the midwest is awesome, right?   There’s a saying here:  Don’t like the weather?  Wait 15 minutes and it will change.

I love pasta.  It’s so simple to throw together and done right it’s pretty healthy.  Oh, except if you live with a diabetic, then it’s not a good idea to eat it everyday, even if he wants to.

Penne with vodka sauce is one of my favorite dishes.  There’s a place that my friend Angel and I go to that has one of the best versions of this dish.  It’s a dish that is so simple.  Unfortunately, it’s also a dish that can be bad if made incorrectly.  I’ve made a version that was so bland that I had a mutiny.  But this, this version is heavenly.  The key is cooking the tomatoes down to a thick sauce.  It allows for a great intense flavor.

Heaven.  Here’s the post that reminded me how great this dish is.

Penne with Vodka Sauce

  • 1/4 C  Olive Oil
  • 6 cloves Garlic-minced
  • pinch crushed Red Pepper
  • 1 t Sea Salt, divided
  • 1-28 ounce can crushed tomatoes in puree
  • 1 pound Penne
  • 2 T Vodka
  • 1 C Heavy Cream
  • 2 T Parsley-roughly chopped (optional)

In a skillet large enough to hold the pasta later, combine the oil, garlic, crushed red pepper and salt, stirring to coat with the oil.  Cook over low-moderate heat for 2-3 minutes.  Do NOT brown the garlic.  Add the crushed tomatoes.  Stir to blend, and simmer, uncovered until the sauce thickens, about 15-25 minutes.  This step is super important.  The sauce needs to thicken for the flavors to intensify.  So the amount of time you cook it is less important than  the consistency.   Taste for  seasoning.

In a saucepan, bring 6 quarts of water to a rolling boil, add the penne.  Stir to prevent sticking and cook until  al dente.  Drain thoroughly.  Add the drained pasta to skillet with the  tomato sauce. Toss. Add the vodka, and toss again, then add the cream and toss.  Cover, reduce the heat to low, and let rest for 1 to 2 minutes to allow the pasta to absorb sauce.  Sprinkle with parsley and serve.

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2 comments

  1. One word: Yum! Bring on the heavy cream, fresh baked bread and lots of soup. (I’m ready for fall too).
    I haven’t made a vodka cream sauce in awhile. Thanks for reminding all of us how easy it can be to put together and it’s such a great-tasting dish. It’s 8:30am here and I’m looking at your pics and getting hungry. It’s not wrong to want a big plate of pasta in the morning, right? Thanks for sharing the recipe.
    Allison


  2. I’ve lived in the midwest and what they say about waiting on the weather to change is so true. My tastes change according to the seasons, too. I’m so excited to bake with yeast again! And for some reason I crave popcorn in the fall, too. Must be because of popcorn balls.



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