Penne ala Vodka

This dish serves 2 people, adjust according to how many people you are serving.

Rigatoni pasta, half a box or 8 oz.
5-10 pieces of garlic 1-2 tablespoons
1 tablespoon sundried tomatoes
3/4-1 cup of strained or crushed tomatoes. (I tend to use canned whole tomatoes. Fresh is fine too, preferably skinned.)
2 tablespoons heavy cream.
1 tablespoon vodka
2 pinches of kosher salt
1 of pinch fresh ground black pepper

Start by pan roasting garlic till slightly & evenly brown. Keep in mind roasted garlic is sweeter and less strong & pungent compared to fresh garlic. Add in chopped sundried tomatoes. Stir in and then add tomatoes. Let them simmer for at least 10 minutes. You want to see the color change from bight red to a darker deeper color. Mash with potato masher or fork the tomatoes & garlic till desired consistency.
Add 2 tablespoons heavy cream. Add 1 tablespoon vodka in sauce, more if you need. Add 2 pinches kosher salt, pinch fresh ground black pepper, and additional spices to suit your personal tastes.

Pour water out of pasta but leave a small amount of the water. Pour pasta into sauce pan including 1-2 tablespoons of pasta water. This mixes with sauce and fills the tubes with the creamy sauce. If done right it makes for a different textural eating experience. It’s also why I use rigatoni which is larger than ziti and thus allows for more sauce flow. Sautéing seals the sauce in.

For this pictured version I took a tablespoon of chopped sundried tomatoes and mixed in pepper, chipotle and a bit of balsamic & basil. A note of green garnish will impress with color.

Additional Notes:

Garlic is central to many of my dishes. Browning it evenly makes the taste just right. I love to take leftovers and top with mozzarella cheese and bake till crispy. My recipes are guides. I never follow a recipe exactly. You can but I encourage experimenting with slight changes of your own. Use different tomatoes. Use your own favorite spices. Sauce consistency can vary but should always be well simmered while not runny or dry. You can experiment by adding cream to garlic & sundried tomatoes which will give the cream a richer taste. But careful not to burn by lowering heat first.

Think you can rock this dish? Send in photos of yours by emailing [email protected] !

~ Recipe submitted by David Zimand of creagency

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