Penne alla vodka is normally a marinara sauce with some cream and vodka added to it. I have made this more like a Baked Ziti and a Penne alla Vodka by adding some ricotta, Parmesano and mozzarella and baking the whole thing. I make lots of extra sauce which can be frozen and used over pasta or even on your next pizza. A few simple ingredients and it can be made ahead and just reheated.
2 cups uncooked penne pasta - cooked to al dente (still a bit hard)
- 32 oz canned whole tomatoes
- 4 cloves garlic
- 1 tbsp chopped fresh basil
- 1 tbsp chopped fresh parsley
- 1/4 tsp chili flakes (more if you like it hot!)
- 1 tbsp dry Italian seasonings
- 1/2 onion
- 4-5 tbsp very good olive oil - I used Mandranova Nocellara
- salt and pepper to taste
- pinch of sugar
- 1/2 cup ricotta cheese
- 1/2 cup vodka
- 1/2 cup cream or milk
- 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
Gather all your ingredients.
Step 1: in a food processor add garlic, basil, parsley, chili flakes, Italian seasonings and onion. Mince until fine. Place onion mix in a pan with lots of good olive oil and cook 5 minutes on medium heat.
Step 2: take canned tomatoes and juices and puree in food processor.
Step 3: add tomatoes to onions and oil and cook 5 minutes on medium heat.
Step 4: add salt and pepper and pinch of sugar. Add vodka and cream and cook another 10 minutes on medium heat.
Step 5: cook penne until al dente. Do not over cook.
Step 6: place penne in a large bowl and add 1 1/2 cups of vodka sauce and ricotta and mix. Add a bit more sauce if it is too dry. It should not be swimming in sauce. Taste it and add salt and pepper if necessary.
Step 7: add a bit of sauce to the bottom of your dish (I made two one to eat and one to freeze) Add your penne and top with a bit of mozzarella and Parmesano. Add a bit of parsley to top.
Bake in a 350 degrees F oven for 20 minutes or until the top is browned and bubbly. Since everything is hot it just needs to heat through and melt the cheese. If you bake from frozen it will take longer.
Top with a bit of fresh sauce if you like and dig in!! YUM.