Elbow Pasta a’ la Vodka
I don’t know if it’s just me, but a single bite can feel like ripping off the lid from my memory box. I don’t remember how old I was or how many times it happened, but sometimes, when we were in a mid-week dinner jam, we’d go to this hole in the wall café. I can’t remember the name, and I couldn’t tell you how to get there, but I do remember my dad ordering time and again penne a’ la vodka. For some reason, that imagine popped in my head and I couldn’t get it out. In the back of my mouth I could taste the tomato’s acidity and the heat of the vodka on my tongue, and I knew I had to cook this recipe as soon as possible.
I’ve made this dish before, but it’s been a while. Some recipes are sort of like riding a bike, you do it once and you can do it always. Until I made penne a’ la vodka, I assumed it was something out of this world; not only taste wise but work wise too. This dish is surprisingly simple and incredibly rewarding. Prepare it for guests and they’ll be sure you spent the day slaving away.
Consider it our little secret.
So, I’m sure you noticed by now that the dish is penne a’ la vodka and it says above elbow pasta a’ la vodka. The problem with inspiration hitting the cook is that it doesn’t always hit the pantry. I searched and searched and the only pasta I found was these oversized elbows. The sauce is a pretty definitive interpretation of this classic dish and the pasta, well we don’t have to talk about that.
Elbow Pasta a’ la Vodka
Serves: about 6 as a main course or about 10 as a side
1 lb elbow pasta
2 Tbsp olive oil
2 cups of onion (diced)
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp hot paprika
1\2 tsp salt
1\2 tsp black pepper
4 garlic cloves (minced)
1 cup of vodka
1 (28 oz) can of crushed tomatoes
1 cup of heavy cream
1 Tbsp dry basil
1 tsp dry oregano
- 1. Heat your oil in a large pot over a medium heat.
- 2. Add the onion, paprikas, salt, and pepper, cooking until the onion browns. This should take about 12 minutes.
- 3. Add your garlic cloves and cook for another 4 minutes.
- 4. Stir in the vodka and then the tomatoes.
- 5. Bring the pot’s contents to a boil, then cover it and lower the heat to medium low. Allow it to cook for 10 minutes before continuing allowing it to thicken. Uncover the sauce, allowing it to cook for about 5 more minutes while you continue.
- 6. Cook your pasta according to the package’s directions.
- 7. After the 5 minutes are over, mix your dried spices into the sauces.
- 8. Once the pasta is ready, add it to the pot and stir it generously before serving. If not serving immediately, heat the pasta and sauce separately.