Penne alla Vodka

What’s that saying?

The way to a man’s heart is through his stomach.

I mean there are other ways ;) but it’s DEFINITELY true when it comes to my Penne alla Vodka!

Penne alla Vodka

STORY ALERT: When me and D were about 3 or so months into our relationship, one night [a date night], we tried this Italian restaurant and D said something to the extent of “why do Italian restaurants never have Penne alla Vodka. It’s one of my favorites.” I honestly had never heard of this said dish before, but decided right then and there that I was going to use my good girlfriend powers and figure out how to make this coveted meal for my guy. From my research, I quickly discovered the reason D can’t order this at an Italian restaurant is, because, well, it’s not Italian. Nope. Us, Americans, came up with it. Funny how that works!? Anyway, my first attempt was on his birthday back in 2012 and you know what? He loved it and continues to love it. SO, here is my take on D’s preferred pasta plate = Penne alla Vodka!


4 tablespoons unsalted butter

1 tablespoon hot red pepper flakes

2 garlic cloves, minced

2 cups canned plum tomatoes, pureed

1/2 cup vodka . . . feel free to take a swig for yourself too!

2 cups heavy cream

3 cups Parmesan, shredded

10 slices prosciutto, chopped

2 cups frozen peas, thawed

salt to taste

1 pound Penne pasta

Directions: Heat a pot of water to boil. In a separate pan [about 12-14 inches], melt butter over medium heat. Stir in the red pepper flakes and cook for 1 minute. Add the garlic and cook until soft. Add the tomatoes and vodka. Continue to cook over medium heat, stir occasionally. While vodka’s kick burns off [sadder words have not been spoken], cook the pasta according to the package instructions. [I personally like mine al dente.] Drain pasta. Next, go back to your sauce. Slowly pour in the cream and cook over low heat for 5 minutes. Then, stir in a quarter of your cheese at a time, making sure to mix it well. Once all the cheese is melted and combined, throw in the prosciutto and cook for an additional 5 minutes. Last [but not least], fold in the peas. Transfer your desired “penne” portion to a plate and drown it in your yummy sauce concoction. Now, all that’s left is to EAT!

“Not only are pasta dishes delicious, but hey are also great, easy options for a quick dinner during a busy weekday.” – Marcus Samuelsson

Oh, and may I add that this recipe makes for some delicious leftovers – BON APPETIT!

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