Penne alla Vodka

  • Yield: 4 servings


1pound imported penna pasta, cooked "al dente", drained
1/2stick (2 ounces) butter
1/4cup chopped onion
2-- garlic cloves, slivered
8ounces fresh mushrooms, thinly sliced
1teaspoon dried thyme
pinch red pepper flakes
2cups pureed canned Italian tomatoes
2cups chicken broth
2cups half-and-half
1/4cup vodka
1teaspoon salt
1/4teaspoon ground black pepper
1/4cup grated Romano cheese


  1. Cook the pasta while making the sauce.  It will take as long to make the sauce as to cook the pasta "al dente", about 8 minutes.
  2. In a large skillet, heat butter.  Add onion and cook for 2 minutes on medium heat or until soft.  Add garlic, mushrooms, thyme and red pepper flakes.  Saute for another minute or until the mushrooms are slightly softened.  Add the tomatoes, broth and half-and-half.  Simmer on low heat for 3 to 4 minutes.  (Can be made ahead up to this point.)  Add vodka, salt and pepper and taste for seasoning.  Cook another 2 minutes on medium heat.  Place penne in a large serving bowl, top with sauce and sprinkle with grated Romano cheese.

Recipe reprinted with permission from Marguerite Marceau Henderson’s Savor the Memories (2002).