Vodka Penne


An excellent recipe  from Donal Skehan. If you’re worried about giving this to children, the alcohol will be cooked off in the process.

A very simple and quick tomato sauce for pasta.  Ideal for students, indeed anyone who has a bottle of vodka in the cupboard.

This recipe was the first one from Donal that I ever cooked. More out of curiosity than anything else. And it went so well that I had to share it with you.

When you serve this, you will have to do a peppery green salad to go with. Rocket leaves, watercress, that kind of thing, with a lemony vinaigrette. If you want to serve a dessert afterwards, may I suggest you serve affrogato – scoops of good vanilla ice cream with espresso coffee poured over?

Vodka Penne – based on Kitchen Hero: Bringing Cooking Back Home by Donal Skehan.

The original recipe came to Donal via Lorraine and Bruno Fanneran, the propieters of La Cucina in Limerick, Ireland.

400g penne pasta

for the sauce:
25g butter
125g bacon pieces
4tbsp vodka (don’t worry, this will cook out)
3 tbsp tomato puree
150ml double cream
sea salt and black pepper

This is really quite simple. In a large frying pan set over a medium heat, you melt the butter. Once melted, you throw in the bacan, and fry until golden. Add the vodka and allow to simmer for about a minute before adding in the puree and cream. Simmer gently until thickened and pink in colour, about five minutes. Season with the salt and pepper to taste.

Meanwhile cook the pasta in a big pan of salted boiling water, according to the packet instructions. Once the pasta is cooked, drain, reserving a little water. What I tend to do before stirring in the sauce, is add a little butter and parmesan to the pasta, give it a quick toss and then add to the sauce. Quickly mix and divide between your bowls, and sprinkle over a little more parmesan.


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