A few months ago Simon and I tried our hand at Penne alla Vodka.  We adapted a few recipes we found online.  The result was excellent and we both enjoyed the meal very much.

Fast forward to now and I find myself still in possession of this bottle of vodka we bought.  I am moving soon and it would be a pity to let vodka go to waste.

For most people having too much vodka isn’t really a problem.  There are lots of ways to use vodka (ie. drink it).  However, I found myself thinking far too much about how I was going to use this vodka and so instead of agonizing over it, I decided to just keep making Penne alla Vodka until the bottle was used up.  I’ll admit I did take a sip or two as well.

I think I’ve settled on quite a good and easy recipe here.  I quite like it and it is perfect for a cold, grey day, which is all we have been having in Heidelberg.

Penne alla Vodka (serves 2)

  • 1 small minced onion or shallot
  • olive oil and butter
  • 4 cloves of minced garlic
  • 3/4 cup of vodka
  • 1 can of chopped tomatoes
  • salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 2-3 Tbsp. of crème fraiche (or cream if you can’t find it)
  • chopped fresh basil and fresh parmesan
  • pasta cooked to your liking

Heat olive oil and butter (about 1 Tbsp. each) in a large pan.  Add onions and cook until translucent.  Add garlic and cook a little longer.  Be careful not to burn them.  Add the vodka and allow to simmer for a while.

Add your chopped tomatoes and allow for the sauce to cook and thicken.  If it thickens too much fill some water in your emptied can and add some (this way the water picks up the little bits of tomato left in the can).

Meanwhile heat some salted water on the stove for your pasta and cook to your liking.

Season the sauce with lots of freshly ground pepper and some salt.  I think freshly ground pepper really makes this dish.  At the very end stir in the crème fraiche or cream.  Toss with the pasta and top with lots of basil and freshly grated parmesan cheese.

As you can see I did not serve this with penne this time, but it was still delicious!