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Year of the Noodle: Week 9

I’ve finally purchased a pasta maker.  As I write this, it is on it’s way from Amazon, or more accurately one of their resellers (I bought a used one.)  I’m very excited.  I like kitchen gadgets.  And I like fresh pasta.  Double win.

In the meantime, dried pasta still ruled this week’s recipe.  How do you make dried pasta a little more interesting?  Add booze to it.  Hence the Penne a la Vodka.  Buy the cheap stuff for this recipe – I doubt you  could tell the difference.  That is, unless you plan on doing shots whilst cooking, which I do not recommend.  Especially not with the cheap stuff  :)  Happy Tuesday!

Penne a la Vodka

  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 shallots, minced
  • 1 cup vodka
  • 1 cup vegetable broth
  • 1 can crushed tomatoes (32 ounces)
  • Coarse salt and pepper
  • 16 ounces penne rigate pasta
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 20 leaves fresh basil, shredded or torn
  1. Heat a large skillet over moderate heat. Add oil, butter, garlic, and shallots. Gently saute shallots for 3 to 5 minutes to develop their sweetness. Add vodka to the pan, 3 turns around the pan in a steady stream will equal about 1 cup. Reduce vodka by half, this will take 2 or 3 minutes. Add chicken stock, tomatoes. Bring sauce to a bubble and reduce heat to simmer. Season with salt and pepper.
  2. While sauce simmers, cook pasta in salted boiling water until cooked to al dente (with a bite to it). While pasta cooks, prepare your salad or other side dishes.
  3. Stir cream into sauce. When sauce returns to a bubble, remove it from heat. Drain pasta. Toss hot pasta with sauce and basil leaves.
Source: Rachael Ray
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