Friday, September 18, 2009

Anatomy of the Perfect Pasta Dish (perfect friends included)

It's in my Italian nature to thrive on cooking for and feeding people...I just like to share my love of food. I had 3 of my dearest friends (Laura, Mary Katherine and the freshly married Sara!) over on Wednesday night and I cooked up a staple dish from the Nido repertoire, Penne A La Vodka (penne pasta in a vodka cream sauce). I came home from work, put on my favorite apron, and got to work. I love cooking for these girls and anytime I get to spend with them for that matter, I truly cherish. MK was begging me for the recipe and I promised her I would post it so that she can wow Nick Baker in the kitchen! This recipe is so quick and easy and tastes delicious. It doubles as the perfect pasta dish for a big dinner party or if you want a go to recipe to cook up something delicious for a special someone and have a romantic dinner for two. Once again, credit for my knowledge of this fine work of culinary art goes to my dear old Dad.

Penne A La Vodka

2-6 cloves of garlic, minced (this can be adjusted according to your love or un-love for garlic)
1 can of crushed red tomatoes
1/2 cup Heavy Cream (can be substituted with half and half for a healthier option and the consistency will just be less creamy)
1/4 cup Vodka (any brand will do)
Olive oil- enough to cover the bottom of the pan
Fresh Italian flat leaf parsley (Muffin swears by the flat leaf)
Salt & Pepper to taste
1 lb. penne pasta

This dish does not take long so go ahead and heat up your water to boil the penne. Wash off and chop off the fresh parsley so that it is ready when you need it. Mince garlic and sautee in a large pan with olive oil. Once the garlic starts to bubble (you have to babysit it so that it doesn't burn), add can of tomatoes. Season the sauce with salt and pepper and let it simmer until the flavors are born. Much like risotto, love your sauce into existence. When the pasta is done, drain and set aside. Slowly add the cream and vodka into the marinara sauce and stir toether. Transfer the penne to the pan with the sauce and toss together with the fresh parsley. This pasta looks gorgeous served in a large ceramic pasta bowl. Mange, mange!


  1. so excited the recipe has been revealed!! s2h will now be begging me to whip some up! but i think i may just come home for the real deal. e-saver stalking starts now! xo

  2. Always flat leaf and Sinatra necessary in the background. MFN