John Zaccaro Jr.’s Penne with Vodka Sauce

by Cate on December 14, 2004

Serves 4

1 pound penne
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes, or more to taste
1/2 cup vodka
4 tablespoons butter
1 red onion, sliced
2 tablespoons tomato paste
3/4 cup heavy cream
3/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
salt and pepper to taste

Bring a large pot of salted water to boil. Add the pasta and cook just until al dente. Drain. In a cup, steep the red pepper flakes in the vodka and set aside while you get on with making the sauce.

In a skillet, melt the butter and saute the onion over medium-high heat until golden and translucent, 5-8 minutes. Add the vodka and pepper flakes and simmer for 2 minutes. Stir in the tomato paste. Reduce the heat to low and add the cream and grated cheese. Stir well and heat thoroughly. Toss with the drained, cooked pasta.

Sweetnicks’ Note: Very yummy, flavorful and easy to make. Great for weeknights. Recipe courtesy of A Slob in the Kitchen by Karen Duffy.  This is Nicholas’ #1 favorite pasta dish.

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