Penne in Vodka Sauce

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Today they cancelled classes in the morning because of the “arctic freeze” here in Texas.  I think that’s hilarious, since back in Illinois I would have had to find a way to get to work even if it were -20 degrees, snowing, and the roads were iced.

I have always wanted to make homemade pasta sauce from a recipe – I’ve tried making just a sauce thrown together with roma tomatoes, garlic, basil, and a few other spices, but there are so many wonderful classic sauces out there that I’ve been dying to make!!

One cautionary tale is that it is not going to taste perfect your first time around.  This vodka sauce was absolutely delectable except that it tasted a little bland and too spicy, maybe needed more salt and pepper and less red pepper flakes.  I also used half and half because I didn’t feel like clogging up my arteries with heavy cream, but that could be why it wasn’t as flavorful.

Either way, I still thought the sauce was delicious and ended up with a little extra!  Rich, creamy tomato sauce with a hint of vodka make a perfect weekend dinner – make sure to leave enough time to cook that sauce 🙂

YIELD: 4 servings

TIME: 4 hours

INGREDIENTS
1/4 cup olive oil
1 onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
1-1/2 tsp dried oregano
1 cup vodka
3-1/2 lbs peeled roma tomatoes
salt and pepper, to taste
1 lb penne pasta
4 Tbsp fresh oregano, chopped
3/4-1 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup Parmesan, shaved

DIRECTIONS
Preheat oven to 375 F and drizzle olive oil in a saute pan.  Saute onions for 5 minutes and stir in garlic, red pepper, and dried oregano for 1 minute.  Pour in vodka, stirring until reduced by half.  Crush tomatoes in the pan and season with salt and pepper.  Cover and cook 1-1/2 hours.

Remove from oven and cook an additional 15 minutes in the same pan.  Cook pasta and puree tomato mixture until smooth.  Pour back into the pan and reheat on medium low heat.  Stir in 2 Tbsp fresh oregano and heavy cream.  Season with salt and pepper, and simmer 10 minutes.  Toss in past and coat with sauce.  Add 1/2 cup parmesan and remove from heat.

Serve on plates or in bowls with extra cheese and fresh oregano.

Hope y’all enjoy!

xoxo, Sara

original recipe here

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