Monday, May 24, 2010

Penne with Tomato Cream

This pasta recipe calls for vodka. Don't worry about using it because the alcohol cooks off and it helps to blends the flavors, leaving no vodka taste behind.

1 T. olive oil
1 small onion, chopped
1 garlic clove, finely chopped
1/8 to 1/4 t. crushed red pepper
1 can ( 28 oz.) tomatoes in puree, coarsely chopped
3 T. vodka (opt.)
1/2 t. salt
1/2 c. heavy or whipped cream
1 c. frozen peas, thawed
1 pkg. (16 oz.) penne or rotini
1/2 c. loosely packed fresh basil leaves, thinly sliced

In nonstick 12-inch skillet, heat oil over medium heat. Add onion and cook until tender, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and crushed red pepper; cook until garlic is golden, about 30 seconds longer.
Stir in tomatoes with their puree, vodka if using, and salt; heat to boiling over high heat.
Reduce heat and simmer until sauce has thickened, 15-20 minutes. Stir in cream and peas; heat to boiling.
Meanwhile in large saucepot, cook pasta as label directs. Drain. In warm serving bowl, toss pasta with sauce and sprinkle with basil.

***As an alternate idea, add deveined, cooked shrimp or cooked, chunked chicken when tossing together at the end.

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