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Penne alla Vodka

Penne alla Vodka.jpg

This recipe appears in Un-Wine’d, which airs Saturdays at 1:00 p.m. on VPM PBS. Watch past seasons and current episodes on the PBS app or PBS website. Check the broadcast schedule for local listings. Discover more recipes here.

What You’ll Need:

  • ½ yellow onion, finely minced
  • 2 to 3 cloves minced garlic
  • 4 ounces prosciutto, chopped
  • 1 (28 oz) can San Marzano tomatoes, crushed finely with hands
  • 1/2 cup vodka
  • ¼ t. Cayenne or red pepper flakes
  • 2/3 cup heavy cream
  • 1 t. Dried oregano
  • ½ cup freshly shredded parmesan cheese, divided
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
  • 1 lb. penne pasta, cooked according to package directions, pasta water reserved


Step 1: Heat the oil in a large saute pan over medium heat. Add onion and prosciutto. Saute until the onion begins to soften, about 4 minutes. Add the garlic and cayenne or red pepper flakes and continue to cook the mixture for another minute.

Step 2:Remove the pan from the heat and add the crushed tomatoes and vodka. Return to medium-high heat and bring to a simmer. Once simmering, reduce the heat to low and let the mixture simmer, stirring occasionally, for 15 minutes. Stir the cream and oregano into sauce and heat for 2 minutes. Stir in parmesan and basil.

Step 3: Add the cooked pasta to the pot and toss to well coat. If the sauce is too thick, thin a little at a time with the pasta water. Serve warm with the remaining parmesan and garnish with more basil if desired.


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