Last night's dinner is something I am semi-"famous" for. My friends have always loved when I make vodka sauce - and now I think I have hooked Bo too.
For its flavor and impressiveness, it is easy to make as you can start with jarred sauce, or the homemade stuff in your freezer as I did. I decided to experiment with the cream component. I had marscapone cheese left from another dish and used it with fabulous results. I think I may have liked it even better as it added a touch of sweetness.
Along with the pasta was Wilted Spinach with Garlic from Eating Well Magazine. Simple to make with bagged spinach, it was full of flavor and gave us another vegetable boost. Love warmer fall flavors! Now if fall weather would bother to show up...
Penne with Vodka Sauce (Adapted from Giada De Laurentiis)
3 cups store bought or homemade marinara sauce.
1 cup vodka
1/2 cup heavy cream, at room temperature
1/2 cup grated Parmesan
1 pound penne
Simmer the tomato sauce and vodka in a heavy large skillet over low heat until the mixture reduces by 1/4, stirring often, about 20 minutes. Stir the cream into the tomato and vodka sauce. Simmer over low heat until the sauce is heated through. Stir in the Parmesan cheese until melted and well blended.
Meanwhile, cook the pasta in a large pot of boiling salted water until al dente, tender but still firm to the bite, stirring occasionally, about 8 minutes. Drain the pasta and transfer it to the pan with the sauce, and toss to coat.
Wilted Spinach with Garlic (Adapted from Eating Well)
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
2 T pine nuts
1 pound bagged spinach, washed and stemmed
Salt & freshly ground pepper, to taste
Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add pine nuts and saute 1 minute. Add garlic and stir until golden, about 30 seconds. Add greens in batches, if necessary, and toss until just wilted, 2 to 4 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.