Friday, June 11, 2010

Thrifty Recipe- Penne with Vodka Sauce

This is a favorite weeknight meal at our house. We make a full recipe, have it for dinner, then freeze the leftovers in individual Gladware containers to eat for lunch. Most grocery stores offer a store brand can of crushed tomatoes and line of dried pastas. We use Target's Market Pantry.

Penne with Vodka Sauce
From The Good Housekeeping Cookbook page 223
I have made some small edits based on experience with the recipe.

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, finely chopped
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 1 can (28 ounces) crushed tomatoes in puree
  • 3 tablespoons vodka (since you're cooking it, might as well use cheap vodka, not Grey Goose!)
  • 1/2 cup heavy or whipping cream
  • 1/2 cup loosely packed fresh basil leaves, sliced (I usually use 1-2 teaspoons dried basil leaves instead and add when I put in the tomatoes. Definitely a money-saving substitution)
  • 1 package (16 ounces= 1 pound) penne pasta
  • The recipe also calls for 1 cup thawed frozen peas but we usually leave those out
1. In skillet, heat oil over medium heat. Add onion and cook until tender, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and crushed red pepper; cook until garlic is golden, about 30 seconds longer.
2. Stir in tomatoes and puree, vodka, and dried basil if using. Heat to boiling over high heat. Reduce heat and simmer until sauce has thickened, 15-20 minutes.
3. Meanwhile in large saucepot, cook pasta as labeled. Drain and return to the pot.
4. Stir cream and peas (if using) into sauce, heat to boiling.
5. Pour sauce over pasta in pot and toss to coat. Sprinkle with fresh basil (if using).


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