Penne with Vodka Sauce
courtesy Giada de Laurentiis
1 cup vodka
1/2 cup grated Parmesan
1 pound penne
Simmer the tomato sauce and vodka in a heavy large skillet over low heat until the mixture reduces by 1/4, stirring often, about 20 minutes. Stir the cream into the tomato and vodka sauce. Simmer over low heat until the sauce is heated through. Stir in the Parmesan cheese until melted and well blended.
Meanwhile, cook the pasta in a large pot of boiling salted water until al dente, tender but still firm to the bite, stirring occasionally, about 8 minutes. Drain the pasta and transfer it to the pan with the sauce, and toss to coat.
I'm not sure if the vodka taste was too strong because of the vodka we used (Ketel One) or because the recipe called for too much. The first night we ate this, my mouth tingled a little bit from the vodka. The next night it must have cooked down a little more when we reheated the sauce because the taste was not as strong. I would recommend cooking the sauce down a little longer, maybe 30 minutes.
We also used light instead of heavy cream to make the meal a little more health conscious. The result was a sauce that was not quite as pink as a vodka sauce you would get in a restaurant. It was just as delicious, though, so I'm not complaining.
If you want to make the sauce from scratch instead of using a jarred sauce, you can find the recipe on the food network site (see link above). Since we didn't use the recipe, I didn't post it.