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I do not know why I keep asking my son for dinner ideas, he always says the same thing “pasta”! I could not bring myself to make boring old spaghetti again, I wanted something different. I had heard of pasta with a creamy vodka sauce but never tried it because of the heavy cream. My new trick is to substitute coconut milk whenever you would usually use cream, so I decided to give it Penne with Vodka Sauce a try…..
It worked, no coconut taste…yeah! Sometimes recipes that have a large amount of “cream” will end up with a coconut taste, but it worked perfectly.
How to make Penne with Vodka Sauce:
Heat oil in a large pan or Dutch oven over medium-high heat.
Add the onion and tomato paste, cook for 5 minutes until onion softens.
Stir in the garlic and cayenne pepper.
Pour in the tomatoes and vodka and bring almost to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes stirring occasionally.
Add the coconut milk and cook for 1 minute.
Add cooked penne, stir and cook for 2 minutes so the pasta can absorb some of the sauce. If sauce is too thick, stir in some of the reserved pasta water.
Stir in the basil and serve immediately. Garnish with Parmesan if desired.
When my son came home he immediately starting teasing me about the house smelling like garlic, and it only has 3 cloves. Just wait until he gets home tonight, fish with 12 cloves of garlic. I think we are definitely safe from vampires. I will post the Sole with Caramelized Garlic recipe on Thursday, I loved it! We’ll see what Alex thinks of it when he gets home…he loved it too!!
More delicious pasta recipes:
Pasta for a Crowd – my son’s favorite!
Penne with Vodka Sauce
- 2 Tablespoons olive oil
- 1/2 cup yellow onion minced
- 3 cloves garlic minced or pressed
- 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper add more if you like more heat
- 1 Tablespoon tomato paste
- 1 cup diced tomatoes canned
- 1 cup pureed tomatoes
- 1/3 cup vodka
- 1 cup full-fat coconut milk the kind in a can
- 1 pound penne pasta cooked, reserve 1/2 cup of pasta water
- 2 Tablespoons fresh basil finely chopped
- freshly grated Parmesan cheese to garnish - optional
- Heat oil in a large pan or Dutch oven over medium-high heat.
- Add the onion and tomato paste, cook for 5 minutes until onion softens.
- Stir in the garlic and cayenne pepper.
- Add the tomatoes and vodka and bring almost to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes stirring occasionally.
- Pour in the coconut milk and cook for 1 minute.
- Add cooked penne, stir and cook for 2 minutes so the pasta can absorb some of the sauce. If sauce is too thick, stir in some of the reserved pasta water.
- Stir in the basil and serve immediately. Garnish with Parmesan if desired
- Do not use generic/cheap vodka, it has a bitter taste when it is used in cooking.
- This dish is dairy-free if you do not add the Parmesan cheese!