penne alla vodka

Last Friday I made this recipe, which I’d originally seen on America’s Test Kitchen on PBS, and it was awesome. I just wanted simple, good food and this fit the bill. A great Friday night meal.

I served it with some crusty bread and a really great caprese salad. Whole Foods is starting to get some flavorful tomatoes in again. They always have tomatoes, they just taste better in spring and summer. Really good in summer, but these tomatoes were pretty good. And they always have excellent mozzarella made locally. I used my tangerine balsamic and meyer lemon olive oil from Carter & Cavero. So good, we couldn’t get over how good the caprese is now that spring is here.

capreseAnd then there’s the main event. We used Finlandia vodka because the show suggested using the best quality vodka you have available. The flavor really makes a difference, apparently, and this was delicious.

Penne Alla Vodka (from America’s Test Kitchen)

So that the sauce and pasta finish cooking at the same time, drop the pasta into boiling water just after adding the vodka to the sauce. If possible, use premium vodka; inexpensive brands will taste harsh in this sauce. Pepper vodka imparts a pleasant flavor and can be substituted for plain.

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