Monday, July 4, 2011

penne with spicy vodka tomato cream sauce.

There are some things I need to make sure I have in my kitchen at all times:


Extra Virgin Olive Oil.
Ground Schnausage.
Heavy Cream.

To name a few.

You see, my husband has a few favorite dishes I make, and when he requests them, I need to be ready.

Because there's almost nothing better than getting to fulfill someone's hunger desires.

"What's that, darling? You're craving tiramisu cheesecake with a chocolate ganache? No problem!"

"Chicken lasagna Alfredo? Done!"

"Penne with spicy vodka tomato cream sauce? I thought you might like that."


You see, doing things like this not only brings me joy, but has other marital benefits (not what you think). What I mean is, maybe he might feel more generous than normal and approve a reasonable purchase like this one.

It's worth a shot.

Here's another thing that's worth a shot:

Penne. With Spicy Vodka Tomato Cream Sauce.

Long name. Sounds complicated. You've already tuned me out.

But hold on! Let me just inform you (in case you didn't already know) that I am the Queen of Lazy Cooking. Yes, Queen. Didn't know I was royalty, did you?

I mean, this time of year I'm not too bad. It's summer... I'm not teaching all day... I have a little more time on my hands. I have time to find new, exciting recipes to try and to go to the store to shop for ingredients of that recipe.

You will not find me doing that during the school year. No, that's when I'm all about efficiency. Cooking is almost an inconvenience. No, scratch that. Cooking IS an inconvenience. When I have no time to spare.

Know what I'm talking about?

Thought so.

Which is why you need to meet this recipe.


Ohhhhh SNAP! Now you're interested.

Pasta topped with a rich, creamy tomato sauce. It's smooth and velvety, with a bite! It's not subtle. It kinda smacks you in the face. In a good way. It's like a flavor explosion in your mouth. Like the 4th of July (today) from first bite!

Then there's the sausage. It adds to the sauce making this meal a little more hearty, but not in the sleepy, food-coma-after-a-big-meaty-meal way. No, the sausage is not the main attraction. It plays a very important supporting role.

This dish tastes so complex that everyone who partakes of it will think you slaved for hours.

(But really it was more like 25 minutes... shhh... don't tell!)

Are you ready for this??


Penne with Spicy Vodka Tomato Cream Sauce

Prep Time: 10 min.  Cook Time: 15 min.


  • 1 pound uncooked penne pasta
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 (28 ounce) can crushed tomatoes
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons vodka
  • 3/4 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 2 (3.5 ounce) links sweet Italian sausage (or 1/2 lb. ground Italian sausage)
  • 1 cup shredded Italian cheese


  1. Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Add pasta and cook for 8 to 10 minutes or until al dente; drain.
  2. In large skillet, heat oil over moderate heat. Remove casing (not necessary for ground sausage) from sausage and add to skillet. Cook, breaking up the meat, until brown. Add garlic and red pepper and cook, stirring until garlic is golden brown.
  3. Add tomatoes and salt; bring to boil. Reduce heat and simmer 15 minutes.
  4. Add vodka and cream and bring to boil. Reduce heat to low and add pasta, toss for 1 minute. Stir in fresh parsley, top with cheese, and serve!

Serves 8

My Tip:  Make sure you have a splatter screen over your skillet/pan while simmering. Otherwise your stove, your husband, your kitty, and yourself will look like victims in a crime scene. 

My Second Tip:  If you're one who doesn't normally "do" spicy, you can still "do" this dish. Just tone down the amount of red pepper flakes to about 1 tsp. And don't buy spicy schnausage.


Well, if this doesn't give you a foodbaby, I just don't know what will.

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