Friday, March 20, 2009
Recipe: Penne Alla Vodka for a Date Night
I've gotten a few emails from people who have complimented me on this blog. One person emailed me to tell me that he (a non-vegetarian) had just started dating a vegetarian and that perhaps he might find some good ideas on this blog.
So now I'm asking myself: what's a good date-dish to make for a vegetarian? It should, of course, taste good, and it should be simple to prepare.
I love the penne alla vodka from Jeane Lemlin's Vegetarian Classics. This dish takes less than 15 minutes to make. It has so much flavor, even though it requires so few ingredients. And it looks nice, too, especially when presented on plain black or white wine. Serve with a simple side salad, your favorite bottle of wine, and you are set to go!
Penne Alla Vodka
Serves approximately 4
16 ounces penne
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
4 large garlic cloves, minced
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1 1/2 cups canned crushed tomatoes or tomato puree
1/4 vodka (I used Skyy)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup heavy cream
Parsley, finely chopped, for garnishing
Freshly grated parmesan cheese
Add the penne to a large pot of boiling water and cook according to the directions on the package.
In the meantime, heat the olive oil over medium heat in a large 10-12 inch skillet. Add the garlic and the red pepper flakes and cook for about 1 minute. (Make sure to lower the heat, if necessary, so that the garlic does not burn.) Add the crushed tomatoes, vodka, and salt, and continue cooking for about 10 minutes over low heat.
When the penne is done cooking, drain the penne in a colander. Pour the cream into the skillet. Add the penne to the skillet and gently toss until coated with the sauce. Garnish with parsley and serve. Sprinkle with parmesan cheese at the table, if desired.