Pennette Ala Vodka

Happy. Birthday. To. Me.

This was an awesome dinner.  The other half of Two Girls Cooking gave me this recipe last week that she found on The Food Network site.

Jodi went to Las Vegas and had this Vodka sauce at one of the hotels and liked it so much she tried to replicate it at home.

I wanted to have a good dinner tonight for my birthday and decided to try my luck at a new recipe.  This one knocked it out of the park.

The recipe calls for cooked ham (or Italian Ham) and Jodi said she couldn’t find the Italian Ham, so she used Salami.  I didn’t even try to find the ham and searched, instead for the Salami.  What I found was a Wine Salami that has a hint of pink peppercorn (it was a bit on the strong side).  The only complaint that was given on this dish was just that.  The Salami was a bit too much.  Next time I’ll try with either home made meatballs or ham.  But the sauce?  The sauce is so good.

Here’s what you need: (I cut the recipe in half by some)

• 1/2 pound cooked ham (better to use Italian cooked ham) – used the salami

• 2 tablespoons olive oil

• 2 tablespoons unsalted butter

• 1 1/2 large white onions, finely chopped – I used 1 onion

• 1.3 quarts (700 ml) tomato sauce (or blended canned peeled Italian tomatoes) – I used a large can and a small can of tomato sauce

• 3 tablespoons finely chopped Italian parsley leaves

• 1 quart heavy cream reduced by half (1/2 quart) – I almost a pint

• 3/4 cup vodka – I used only a 1/4 cup because of the kids eating it – though I know it cooks through!

• Salt and pepper

I added 3 cloves of fresh garlic

• 2 pounds penne liscie # 40 (recommended: De Cecco) – Use any pasta you like


Finely dice the cooked ham and set it aside.

Place a heavy bottom sautoir or pan on medium-high flame. Add the olive oil and the butter. When the butter melts and becomes foamy add the chopped onions, let it saute until crispy, and do not let it brown.

Add the diced ham, mix it in, lower the flame and let it sweat for about 15 minutes, stir it occasionally.

Add the tomato sauce, mix it in, let it simmer for another 20 minutes, then add the parsley, simmer for 3 minutes, add the reduced heavy cream and the vodka, mix it all well and let simmer for 20 minutes

Check the consistency, simmer for other 10 minutes if you need to, season and mix in the cooked penne, let it simmer for 2 minutes and serve it HOT!!!

This is another must try dish.

Thanks Jodi for helping make my birthday dinner a success!

Have a great rest of the week.

Patricia – Two Girls Cooking