Penne a la Vodka

This dish is easy to prepare, yet elegant. The red pepper flakes give the dish just the right amount of heat for a spicy evening.


  • 1-pound penne regate
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 1/2 cup minced shallots
  • 1 pinch red pepper flakes
  • 1 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes
  • 1/4 cup vodka
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 12 basil leaves, cut into ribbons


  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to boil. While the water is heating up, melt the butter in a large, deep skillet over low heat.
  2. Add the minced shallots and sauté until translucent, about five minutes. Season with red pepper flakes, salt and pepper. Add the vodka and crushed tomatoes. Bring the sauce to a boil, then turn the heat down and simmer gently.
  3. When the water boils, add the pasta and undercook it slightly. A few minutes before the pasta is done, stir the heavy cream into the tomato sauce.
  4. Drain the pasta and immediately add it to the sauce, tossing well to combine.
  5. Cook the pasta in sauce for 1-2 minutes.
  6. Toss with chopped fresh basil and serve.
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