Penne alla Vodka

This post is dedicated to my awesome girl Cara who lives too far away in Ireland!

At home (in New York) I always use San Marzano tomatoes for my pasta sauces. They are sweet, and perfect for the job! Out here in San Diego, it is very hard to find affordable San Marzano tomatoes. SO, I found a substitute–Bionature’s Organic strained tomatoes. Canned plum tomatoes will also do alright, but they should not have any salt added. Strained, or crushed are the easiest. If you use whole canned tomatoes, you will need to put them through a food mill, or crush them by hand.

I like to cook as much as I can with my cast iron skillet. The acid in the tomatoes will help leach out some iron your body can use. This is a great way to add iron to the diet for people who have iron deficiency anemia, or those who tend to get little iron from their foods.

You will need:

  • 1 small onion or 1/2 large onion, diced
  • 2 Tbsp chopped pancetta or bacon
  • 2 cloves garlic, smashed
  • One can or bottle of tomatoes(24-30 oz)
  • 3 oz vodka
  • 2-4 oz heavy cream
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • 1/2 lb penne pasta (or another short pasta: rigatoni, farfalle, etc)
  1. Heat your pan/pot of choice on medium heat
  2. Add the onion, and cook for 5 minutes
  3. Add the bacon, and cook for about 2 minutes
  4. Add the garlic, and cook 2 more minutes
  5. Add the tomatoes, vodka, and between 2 and 4 oz of heavy cream as you’d like
  6. Season with some salt and black or red pepper
  7. Cook the sauce for at least 30 minutes on low heat, uncovered (this will help evaporate the liquids and alcohol, and leave you with a nicer, concentrated flavor)
  8. Cook your penne pasta one minute short of your liking, then drain
  9. Add as much sauce to the pasta as you would like, and heat on medium for a minute
  10. Serve

Serves at least 2

Did You Know? Cooking tomatoes with a small amount of fat will help nutrients become more available for your body for absorption. Yum!

Book an appointment here! Marina Bedrossian, RDN, CDN, CLT is a family holistic dietitian who specializes in nutrition for digestive issues, nutrition for Autism, ADHD, and nutrition for food sensitivities. 


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