Penne alla Vodka

Although this dish, now listed on countless Italian restaurant menus, has a certain novelty, it takes just one bite to discover how successful the combination is. This version comes from Le Sirenuse, in Positano, Italy.

TOTAL TIME: 25 min
Prep: 10 min
Inactive Prep: --
Cook: 15 min
YIELD: 4 to 6 servings
LEVEL: Easy

ingredients

  • 2 drops hot sauce (recommended: Tabasco), or to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon finely ground black pepper
  • 1 pound penne
  • 3/4 cup finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
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Directions

Melt butter in a deep 12-inch heavy skillet over moderately low heat. Add onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until it begins to soften, about 5 minutes. Stir in vodka, bring to a simmer, and simmer for 4 minutes. Add tomato puree and cream and simmer, stirring occasionally, until onion is soft, about 5 minutes. Stir in ham, Tabasco, salt, and pepper. Keep sauce warm over very low heat.

Cook pasta in 6- to 8-quart pot of boiling salted water (1 tablespoon salt per every 4 quarts water) until al dente. Reserve 1/2 cup cooking water and drain pasta.

Add pasta to sauce and toss with sauce and cheese, adding some of reserved cooking water if pasta seems dry.
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