Whenever we've made penne alla vodka we always use Lidia's recipe. But while I was watching ATK over the weekend I saw them make penne alla vodka and decided to give it a try.
I really liked that they kept some of the tomatoes whole instead of pureed and I liked that there wasn't too much cream. I don't think SP was a fan because the vodka flavor wasn't very pronounced, but I thought it was fantastic. I also made some garlic bread topped with a little grated Pecorino cheese:
Penne alla Vodka
America Test Kitchen
1 (28 ounce) can whole tomatoes, drained, liquid reserved
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 small onion, minced (about 1/4 cup)
1 tablespoon tomato paste
2 medium cloves garlic, minced
1/4-1/2 teaspoon hot red pepper flakes
1/3 cup vodka
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 pound penne pasta
2 tablespoons minced fresh basil leaves
Grated Parmesan cheese, for serving
Puree half of tomatoes in food processor until smooth. Dice remaining tomatoes into 1/2-inch pieces, discarding cores. Combine pureed and diced tomatoes in liquid measuring cup (you should have about 1 2/3 cups). Add reserved liquid to equal 2 cups.
Heat oil in large saucepan over medium heat until shimmering. Add onion and tomato paste and cook, stirring occasionally, until onions are light golden around edges, about 3 minutes. Add garlic and pepper flakes; cook, stirring constantly, until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
Stir in tomatoes and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Remove pan from heat and add vodka. Return pan to medium-high heat and simmer briskly until alcohol flavor is cooked off, 8 to 10 minutes; stir frequently and lower heat to medium if simmering becomes too vigorous. Stir in cream and cook until hot, about 1 minute.
Meanwhile, bring 4 quarts water to boil in large Dutch oven over high heat. Add 1 tablespoon salt and pasta. Cook until just shy of al dente, then drain pasta, reserving 1/4 cup cooking water, and transfer pasta back to Dutch oven. Add sauce to pasta and toss over medium heat until pasta absorbs some of sauce, 1 to 2 minutes, adding reserved cooking water if sauce is too thick. Stir in basil and adjust seasoning with salt. Divide among pasta bowls and serve immediately, passing Parmesan separately.