Thursday, January 14, 2010

Penne Alla Vodka with Sausage

My husband's birthday was this week, and he requested that I try to duplicate our favorite dish at Vinny T's - penne alla vodka with sausage. My attempt was yummy, though fell short of the restaurant's version... but I suspect that they use a lot more fat in their version than I was willing to use!

I did have some qualms about posting this, as the evidence on just how much alcohol is burned off in cooking is mixed, and I know some people would never serve this dish to their kids. I serve my children beef stews that have been simmered in beer and chicken that has been braised in wine - and one of our favorite breads is yeast bread made with a bottle of beer. Vodka gave me some pause, but it's a small amount spread over a dish that had a large yield of servings (for my family, at least - my girls will only ever eat about 1/2 cup cooked pasta at most, so we have leftovers coming out of our ears!), and it simmered for about 20 minutes.

Better yet, it was something both girls liked and ate without complaint, and the dish was a breeze to put together. So, woohoo!

Penne Alla Vodka with Sausage

1 lb whole wheat penne, cooked according to package directions
1/2 lb sweet italian sausage, removed from casing
1-2 cloves garlic
1 tsp dried basil
1 28oz can crushed tomatoes
1/4 cup vodka
1/2 cup light cream
1/2 cup grated parmesan, plus more for serving

Start making the sauce while you are bringing the pasta water to a boil. In a skillet over medium heat, cook sausage, breaking up into chunks.

When the sausage is cooked, add the garlic and basil and cook until garlic is softened. Add tomatoes and vodka. Bring sauce to a boil. Lower heat and simmer until the pasta is done cooking (it took forever for my water to come to its first boil, and then cook the pasta, so my sauce simmered for about 15 minutes).

Drain the pasta and return to pot. Stir the light cream and parmesan into the sauce. Pour the sauce over the pasta. Cook the pasta and sauce together, stirring constantly, for about 5 more minutes, until the pasta has absorbed some of the sauce.

Serve, covered with more parmesan if desired.

* * * * *

Abby's birthday was the following night - her requested birthday dinner? PB&J, carrots, and tortilla chips. It could be worse! We used whole wheat bread, organic peanut butter and jelly, and multigrain tortilla chips... and it made for one happy 4-year-old!

1 comment:

C. Beth said...

Ooh, that sounds good!! And really, they could get more alcohol in some cough meds.

Chickie's requested bday dinner was a tortilla with butter and corn in it. Odd, but it made her happy.