It's ok that I'm a day behind on this week's themes, right? If I told you I had some killer boozy food last night, would that make it all right?
Because I totally did! That right there is Penne alla Vodka, and it was fantastic! According to some, using vodka in this manner helps to release tomato flavors that are otherwise inaccessible, which sounds fascinating. Sure, using vodka may have been a marketing ploy back in the '70s, but it did result in this tasty number. Win-win!
I browsed several vegan and non-vegan recipes, looking for inspiration on how to achieve that pink creaminess of which I am so very fond (seriously, I think jarred vodka sauce is the prettiest of them all, and I get rage-y when none of them are vegan). Below you'll find my take on this classic boozy pasta sauce.
Penne all Vodka
1 teaspoon olive oil
1 medium-sized onion, chopped
4 garlic cloves, diced
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 28-oz can crushed or diced tomatoes (or use whole peeled tomatoes and crush them in the pan)
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup vodka
1 cup coconut milk
1/3 cup chopped parsely
cooked penne (I used 2 12-oz boxes)
Heat the olive oil in large pan. Add the onion and saute for 5 minutes, or until translucent. Add the garlic and crushed red pepper and saute for 2 minutes. Stir in the tomato paste, then add the tomatoes, sugar, and salt. Bring to a bowl and cook for about 5 minutes. Reduce the heat a little so the tomatoes aren't boiling so rapidly, but keep them simmering. Add the vodka and simmer for 8 to 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the coconut milk and parsely, stir. Add your cooked pasta to the sauce, toss to coat. Garnish with more parsley and serve in big bowls with toasted baguette rounds and wine. Lots of wine.