Penne alla Vodka (gluten-free option, whole wheat option)

Posted by admin on

Penne alla Vodka with step by step photos. Penne pasta cooked in a creamy vodka sauce. My husband asked me to make this dish for him once a week. Its made with love, its delicious, and a total crowd pleaser.
Penna alla Vodka (gluten-free option, whole wheat option)

My first time in Italy

Back in 2009, it was my first time in Italy, my first stop was Rome. I went out to dinner that evening and ordered the most obvious and my favorite dish Penne alla Vodka.

When my dish arrived it was Penne alla Vodka, but in a creamy white sauce, not in a creamy pink sauce.
Penna alla Vodka (gluten-free option, whole wheat option)

Conversation with our Waiter

I asked our waiter (which I totally regret doing), Excuse me sir, isnt Penne alla Vodka supposed to be in a pink sauce?
He responded in his Italian accent, you tellin me how to cook? I wish you could hear me imitate him in my Italian accent, I do good accents. At this point I realized, my waiter may be the owner. My bad.
I responded (again, I regret saying anything), back home we make Penne alla Vodka in a pink sauce.
He responded back, this is Penne alla Vodka. If you dont like, you can go someplace else. Again, said in his Italian accent.

Well, that comment quickly shut me up. LOL! No sir, Ill just eat the Penne alla Vodka in a creamy white sauce. Not a problem.

Ill say this, when it comes to Italian food, you never tell an Italian person how to cook their own food. They have a global influence on the world when it comes to both food and fashion.

That story makes me cringe till this very day. In hindsight, I shouldnt have said anything, but at least I learned something. I now know there is Penne alla Vodka made in a creamy white sauce. Aha!
Penna alla Vodka (gluten-free option, whole wheat option)

My hubbys reaction to my pasta

Ive been making my version of Penne alla Vodka since I was 24. Its one of my signature dishes and its made with vodka, red pepper, crushed tomatoes, tomato sauce, basil, mozzarella and heavy cream. Ive waited so long to share this dish because its so special to me and I wasnt ready to share with anyone else. So now, Im finally sharing. After my husband had a bite of this dish, he said, Nisha, how come youve never made this for me before? Can you make this dish every week. Well, thats a conversation Ill save for another post.

So you get the idea. This version of Penne alla Vodka is damn good! I hope you make it for the holidays or your next gathering or a special occasion date night at home. Enjoy!
Penna alla Vodka (gluten-free option, whole wheat option)

penne alla vodka is:

Creamy
Indulgent
A Crowd Pleaser
Flavorful
Gluten-Free Option (use gf pasta)
Whole Wheat Option (use whole wheat pasta)
Made with Love
Penna alla Vodka (gluten-free option, whole wheat option)

how to make penne alla vodka step by step?

Prep

1. Add crushed red pepper to vodka. Cover with a plastic wrap and set aside for at least one hour. Once the vodka turns slightly red, chop the onions and garlic.
2. Heat up a pot of water for the pasta.
3. Julienne basil leaves and set aside.

Make the Vodka Sauce

1. Heat up a stainless steel pan (I love my All-Clad) on medium heat. Once hot, add oil followed by garlic and onions. Saute for about 3 minutes or until the onions turns golden.
2. Add the crushed tomatoes and tomato sauce. Stir. Note: I prefer using NO SALT versions. You can easily find those at Whole Foods.
3. Carefully add all the crushed red pepper and vodka to the sauce. There shouldnt be any flames, however stand back when you add the vodka.
4. And then add fresh basil leaves, salt and black pepper. Stir. Let this mixture simmer on low-medium heat for 15 minutes. Do not cover with a lid.

5. While the sauce cooks, make the pasta. Follow the instructions on the pasta box. You can use penne or rigatoni for this dish.

6. Once the sauce has simmered down, lower the heat all the way. Add heavy cream.
7. Stir. It turns into an orange-pink sauce.
8. Add mozzarella cheese. Stir.
9. Finally, add all the drained hot pasta. You may add a little bit of reserved pasta water to thin out the sauce slightly, however dont add more than a 1/4 cup. This sauce is meant to be creamy. Let the pasta heat up for a few minutes and then turn off the stove.

10. Garnish with more fresh julienne basil leaves. Enjoy with a glass of red wine. Its so damn good!


Penne alla Vodka (gluten-free option, whole wheat option)

Penne alla Vodka with step by step photos. Penne pasta cooked in a creamy vodka sauce. My husband asked me to make this dish for him once a week. It's made with love, it's delicious, and a total crowd pleaser.

  • pot of water for the pasta
  • 1 pound penne pasta* (gluten-free or whole wheat will work)
  • 1/4 cup vodka** (I like Grey Goose, or any other brand works)
  • 1 1/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 cup tomato sauce, no salt (I like Whole Foods Organic brand)
  • 21 ounces crushed tomatoes, no salt (I like Whole Foods Organic brand)
  • salt to taste
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 1/2 cup fresh basil, julienned
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1/4 cup mozzarella cheese
  • for garnish fresh basil, julienned

Prep

  1. Add crushed red pepper to vodka. Cover with a plastic wrap and set aside for at least one hour. Once the vodka turns slightly red, chop the onions and garlic.
  2. Heat up a pot of water for the pasta.
  3. Julienne basil leaves and set aside.

Make the Vodka Sauce

  1. Heat up a stainless steel pan (I love my All-Clad) on medium heat. Once hot, add oil followed by garlic and onions. Saute for about 3 minutes or until the onions turns golden.
  2. Add the crushed tomatoes and tomato sauce. Stir. Note: I prefer using NO SALT versions. You can easily find those at Whole Foods.
  3. Carefully add all the crushed red pepper and vodka to the sauce. There shouldnt be any flames, however stand back when you add the vodka.
  4. And then add fresh basil leaves, salt, and black pepper. Stir. Let this mixture simmer on low-medium heat for 15 minutes. Do not cover with a lid.

  5. While the sauce cooks, make the pasta. Follow the instructions on the pasta box. You can use penne or rigatoni for this dish.
  6. Once the sauce has simmered down, lower the heat all the way. Add heavy cream.
  7. Stir. It turns into an orange-pink sauce.
  8. Add mozzarella cheese. Stir.
  9. Finally, add all the drained hot pasta. You may add a little bit of reserved pasta water to thin out the sauce slightly, however don't add more than a 1/4 cup. This sauce is meant to be creamy. Let the pasta heat up for a few minutes and then turn off the stove.

  10. Garnish with more fresh julienne basil leaves. Enjoy with a glass of red wine. Its so damn good!

* Can I make this dish gluten-free?

Yes. Just replace the white penne pasta with any gluten-free pasta. I highly recommend using penne or rigatoni pasta for this dish.

* Can I make this dish whole wheat?

Yes. Just replace the white penne pasta with any whole wheat pasta. I highly recommend using penne or rigatoni pasta for this dish.

** Can I omit vodka?

Sure, you can, however this will alter the taste of the recipe since vodka helps release flavors in the tomatoes that normally wouldnt be released. Note: most of the alcohol is evaporated in this recipe, but it is still required in making this dish. If you still choose to omit vodka, you may.

DID YOU MAKE IT?

Tag@honeywhatscookingon Instagram and hashtag it#honeywhatscooking.

I love seeing your creations

The post Penne alla Vodka (gluten-free option, whole wheat option) appeared first on Honey, Whats Cooking.


Share this post



← Older Post Newer Post →


Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published.