A cinch to make, this penne with vodka sauce pairs well with grilled salmon or vegetables – but I’ve also been known to eat a big bowl of the pasta without any additions. I use tofu cream cheese to lighten the recipe, and if you omit the Parmesan, it’s completely vegan. Here’s another juicy tidbit: You can swap fresh, summery heirloom tomatoes for canned San Marzano tomatoes and keep the dish in your fall and winter recipe rotations.
Penne with Vodka Sauce
Serves | 6 to 8 |
- 1 lb penne
- 3 Tbsp olive oil
- 1 onion, small dice
- 6 cloves garlic, chopped
- salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- ½ tsp red chile flakes
- 2 Tbsp vodka
- 28 oz heirloom tomatoes or canned San Marzano tomatoes, crushed
- 1 Tbsp sugar
- 8 oz Tofutti cream cheese
- 3 cups shaved Parmesan, divided
- 1 cup chopped basil
| Preparation | Bring a pot of salted water to a boil; add penne and cook until al dente. Drain, rinse and set aside.
Meanwhile, in a medium saucepan set over medium heat, add oil, onion and garlic; season with salt and pepper. Sauté until onion is translucent, approximately 5 minutes. Add red chile flakes, vodka and tomatoes; reduce heat to low and simmer, 15 to 20 minutes. Add sugar, cream cheese and 2 cups Parmesan; continue to simmer, 5 minutes. Taste and adjust seasoning as needed. Stir in basil. Pour sauce over cooked penne and toss to combine. Top with remaining Parmesan and serve immediately.